World's top companies recognize climate risk and embed sustainability at heart of business

Clare Saxon Ghauri
Reading time: 3 minutes
22 January 2014

LONDON: New research from CDP finds that the world's leading companies are increasingly including climate risk in their supply chains, although investment in emissions reductions programs must be increased. 

CDP's study, Collaborative action on climate risk, reports that ever more businesses are releasing information about their emissions reductions plans and that companies are seeing clear financial benefits from sustainability investments

The research is based on supply chain data from 2,868 companies that together produce around 14% of 2013's global industrial emissions, including members of The Climate Group, BT Group, Hewlett-Packard and Royal Philips.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Almost three-quarters of the businesses identified a current or future climate risk, with 90% of these citing regulatory risk as a barrier to emission reduction investment
  • 56% said consumers are becoming more receptive to low carbon products and services 
  • Emission reduction investment programs declined in 2013
  • 81% survey respondents strongly support policies promoting energy efficiency and clean energy, 67% support mandatory carbon reporting, and 46% support cap and trade programs

Paul Simpson, chief executive officer, CDP, says: “This report establishes that although companies recognize that climate and water risks are on the rise, a mixed regulatory regime is making decisive action difficult.

“However growing participation in our supply chain program and the positive reception to Action Exchange demonstrates that businesses want to leverage their relationships with their suppliers to realize opportunities and minimize climate and water related risks.

When governments introduce a more realistic global price on carbon we expect significantly more investment in emissions reductions from corporates.“

Accenture co-published the study with CDP. Gary Hanifan, global sustainability lead for supply chain, Accenture, said: “This report provides clear evidence that those who are most transparent about their climate change risks are more likely to achieve the greatest emissions reductions. And they are also more likely to enjoy monetary savings as a result of their responses to climate change risks. But the return on investment by the most proactive companies will not reach its full potential unless those companies can encourage their suppliers to follow their lead.”

By Clare Saxon

Read Collaborative action on climate risk

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