World's Biggest Companies Are Getting Greener, CDP Finds

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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World's Biggest Companies Are Getting Greener, CDP Finds

A growing number of the world’s biggest companies are setting greenhouse-gas targets in line with global efforts to curb global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The number of companies committing to “science-based targets” that align with the landmark Paris Agreement is growing steadily, according to the results of a survey of 1,073 businesses published last Tuesday by CDP, formerly called the Carbon Disclosure Project.

The Science-Based Targets Initiative is led by a group of environmental, business and United Nations groups that are urging companies to set more ambitious, meaningful environmental goals that would have a significant impact on efforts to tackle climate change.

Positive Approach

CDP’s sample of companies, which together represent 12 percent of global emissions, showed that almost 90 percent have already set some kind of carbon reduction target. BT Group Plc and Unilever NV are among a smaller group of about 14 percent that have made cuts in line with what’s needed to meet the Paris deal’s goal of keeping warming below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) this century.

Over the next two years, another 317 companies, or 30 percent of respondents, are planning to set science-based targets, according to the non-profit group. That should help national efforts to meet pledges made in Paris in 2015, even as the U.S., the world’s second largest emitter, moves to withdraw from the accord.


Company targets are translating into growing investments in everything from renewable energy to electric cars and energy efficiency technologies. The number of companies with a renewable energy production target rose 36 percent, to 75 companies, from last year.

Internal Carbon Price

Almost a third of companies are using an internal carbon price when considering investments and that’s expected to grow to 50 percent within the next two years, it said.

“We can already see corporate winners and losers emerging,” CDP Chief Executive Officer Paul Simpson said in a statement. “Best practice, from the scaling of solar power to the construction of zero-energy buildings, with innovation in processes, products and philosophies is emerging; and is increasingly led from the boardroom.”

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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