HomeIndustry SectorsFinance and PolicyMajority of greenhouse gas emissions from 10% of 500 largest listed companies

Majority of greenhouse gas emissions from 10% of 500 largest listed companies

18 September 2013 – Out of the world’s top 500 listed companies, 50 are responsible for nearly three quarters of this group’s 3.6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 released in September. The carbon emitted by these 50 highest emitting companies, which primarily operate in the energy, materials and utilities sectors, has risen by 1.65% to 2.54 billion tonnes over the past four years. This increase is equivalent to adding more than 8.5 million pickup trucks to the streets, or the supply of electricity to six million homes for a year.

The report is co-written by CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, and professional services firm PwC. The analysis is based on the climate and energy data of 389 companies listed on the FTSE Global 500 Equity Index, collected by CDP at the request of 722 institutional investors representing US$87 trillion in invested capital. This is a record number of investors now using CDP for insight on corporate environmental performance, as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed the landmark level of 400 parts per million and the world prepares for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th assessment report.

Among the 50 biggest emitters of GHGs are Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell and Sasol. Malcolm Preston, global lead, sustainability and climate change, PwC says, "The report underlines how customers, suppliers, employees, governments and society in general are becoming more demanding of business."

Companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to managing their impact on the environment are generating improved financial and environmental results. Analysis of the corporations leading on climate progress, as based on CDP’s acclaimed methodology and including BMW, Nestlé and Cisco Systems, suggests that they generate superior stock performance.

One of the large emitters, Anglo American, has been commended by CDP for reducing carbon emissions. Anglo American featured in the Global 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) for the 2nd time.

Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American, says, "In 2012 we reduced the amount of energy we used by 5% against our business as usual plan, which saved us US$75 million in costs. We are on track to reduce our emissions footprint by 3.4 million tonnes a year by 2015 and we are half-way towards our 2020 water savings target of 14%."