CDP signals a surge in firms reporting on their carbon emissions

27 Mar 2019295 Views

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Improvement in carbon emission reductions welcomed but there is no denying the reality of intensifying climate impact, says CDP.

There has been an 11pc increase in the number of companies in Ireland reporting on their carbon emissions, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Ireland Climate Change Report 2018. CDP said that 257 companies are now reporting on their carbon emissions.

This includes 28 companies headquartered in Ireland reporting their data, a figure that is down slightly compared with last year. However, it also reported an improvement in the quality of emissions reduction, with a 56pc increase in the number of Irish companies achieving a ‘B’ grade or higher.

‘From a Europe-wide heatwave to record droughts in Cape Town, hurricanes in the Americas and wildfires in the Artic, 2018’s extreme weather events brought enormous costs to both capital markets and wider society’
– PAUL SIMPSON

CDP is an international investor-led not-for-profit that measures the environmental impact of companies around the world. It assessed more than 7,000 companies in 2018 across a range of different environmental standards, providing investors with verifiable data upon which to base their decisions.

The top 10 list of companies making carbon emission reductions was headed by Accenture, followed by AIB, Kingspan Group, Mainstream Renewable Power, Seagate Technology, Shire (now Takeda), CRH, M50 Concession, Ingersoll-Rand and Kerry Group.

Companies who were asked to respond to the CDP’s questionnaire but didn’t included Cairn Homes, Paddy Power Betfair, Permanent TSB and Ryanair.

Mindful and responsible leadership

“2018 has been a year of progress on climate action, but we still have some catching up to do given Ireland’s Climate Change Advisory Council has warned that the country is off course in achieving its 2020 and 2030 emissions reductions targets,” said Caroline Pope, chair of the CDP Ireland Network.

“We want to see a thriving economy that works for people and the planet in the long term, and this requires companies and investors to build a truly sustainable economy by measuring and understanding their environmental impact.”

Companies looking to improve their performance in their CDP ranking can do so by making commitments on reducing carbon emissions through the Science-Based Targets Initiative. This sees companies set targets in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius, consistent with the goals agreed at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. Setting goals to move towards using 100pc renewable energy also helps to improve CDP rankings.

“18 years ago, when CDP started, climate disclosure was non-existent in capital markets. In 2018 over 7,000 companies worth more than 50pc of global market capitalisation [disclosed] environmental data through our platform,” said CDP CEO Paul Simpson.

“There is no denying the reality of intensifying climate impact. From a Europe-wide heatwave to record droughts in Cape Town, hurricanes in the Americas and wildfires in the Artic, 2018’s extreme weather events brought enormous costs to both capital markets and wider society.”

John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist who served as editor of Siliconrepublic.com for 17 years.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com