CDP Climate A List Revealed: Which Firms Lead in Reducing GHG Emissions?

From Environmental Leader, Published on 26 October 2016

General Motors, Johnson Controls, Apple and Microsoft are among the 193 companies on CDP’s Climate A List 2016, meaning they receive an “A” grade for their actions to mitigate climate change.

Only 9% of the corporations that responded to CDP’s annual climate disclosure questionnaire made the Climate A list, which is published in CDP’s 2016 Climate Change Report. Fewer companies (113) made the 2015  list.

The report, released in October in partnership with the We Mean Business coalition, establishes the baseline for corporate action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Future reports over the next five years will track companies’ climate progress including emissions reductions, science-based targetsuse of internal carbon prices and the uptake of renewable energy.

Of the 1,839 companies in the sample, CDP says just over 1,000 responded with data by the deadline. “We hope the remaining 700+ companies will start to engage during the course of the next five years,” CDP says in the report.

Sixty-two companies in the report show “impressive growth figures” while reducing GHG emissions, CDP says, noting that this analysis is limited. It says 792 companies had adequate data on revenue and emissions for a five-year period leading up to the last reporting year, and 62 of these had revenue growth greater than 10% as well as reduced emissions by more than 10%.

Over the five-year period these decoupled businesses grew their revenues on average by 29% while their emissions dropped 26%.

For example UK retailer J Sainsbury reduced its emissions by 22% while increasing revenue by 18% between 2011-2016. The company accomplished this by introducing low-carbon energy technology at stores and depots, as well as liquid natural gas and liquid bio-methane in its dual-fuel vehicle fleet.

By comparison, the larger group of companies saw their revenue decline by 6% while emissions grew by 6%. “This implies the decoupled companies were more economically efficient, as well as being more energy-efficient,” the report says.

Caesars Entertainment, one of the A List companies and an Environmental Leader Project of the Year Award winner, said it has reduced its energy consumption on a per-square-foot basis by 23.4% since 2007, exceeding its 2015 target, under its carbon management strategy. It reduced its energy and carbon emissions by:

  • Installing more than 16,000 digital thermostats with integrated occupancy sensors in guestrooms;

  • Replacing more than 500,000 high-efficiency LED light bulbs;

  • Installing occupancy control sensors for lighting;

  • Converting more than 16,000 showerheads and aerators to low-flow versions; and

  • Implementing operational changes in guestrooms, convention spaces and food and beverage outlets to reduce energy usage.

Caesars has since set a new 2020 goal of further reducing fossil fuel based consumption (per air-conditioned square foot of space) by 30% from its 2007 baseline.

California-based utility Pacific Gas and Electric, another Climate A Lister, said its executives attended the COP21 climate talks in Paris as part of California’s delegation. PG&E also signed on to President Obama’s American Business Act on Climate initiative, which rallied US companies behind the need for action on climate change.

More than 58% of the electricity that PG&E delivered to customers in 2015 came from greenhouse gas-free and renewable resources. This helped the utility achieve a carbon dioxide emissions rate about two-thirds cleaner than the national average.

Suggested additional reading about carbon emissions management:

What Does 10,000 Tons Per Year of GHG Emissions Look Like?

How Does Positive CDP Performance Drive Positive Financial Performance?

More Cities to have Low-Carbon Future