Carbon management is becoming a strategic business priority and competitive driver for the largest global companies, despite the lack of global agreement on climate change, according to a recent study released by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), produced by PwC.
The top five Global 500 leaders for 2010 included: Siemens, Deutsche Post, BASF, Bayer and Samsung Electronics. These companies are in the new Carbon Performance Leadership Index and scored highest (95 or above out of 100) in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.
Carbon performance leaders are forging ahead of competitors -- 85% of these leading global companies surveyed reported having board or senior executive level responsibility for climate change and nearly half (48%) are now embedding climate change initiatives into the overall business strategy and across the organization.
The study reported that nine out of ten companies surveyed identified significant commercial opportunity arising from climate change, separating the companies driven by risk-factors, from those companies identifying and seizing competitive advantages and cost-benefits.
Despite the significant increase of boardroom and executive-level engagement, and 65% of Global 500 respondents implementing emissions reduction targets, still only 19% of the Global 500 companies are showing significant emissions reductions.
North America significantly lags Europe in disclosure and performance. 21% of European respondents are in the CPLI, compared to 6% of North American respondents.
"As companies evaluate sustainability trends -- such as competition for natural resources, economic globalization, and climate change -- the likely outcome is a fundamental shift in business strategy," said Dennis Nally, chairman, PwC International. "We are finding that leaders in this area design corporate-level objectives to aggressively pursue growth while simultaneously reducing emissions."
To view the CDP 2010 Global 500 report in .pdf format click here