Banks and investors back calls to biggest companies to cut emissions
On behalf of 92 pension funds, asset managers, insurers and banks, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which holds the world's largest collection of self-reported corporate environmental data, has sent letters to the CEOs of 415 of the world’s largest public companies calling for cost-effective management and reductions of their carbon emissions.
The letters were sent as part of CDP's Carbon Action initiative in parallel to CDP's annual request for disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions, climate change strategies and water use.
Support for Carbon Action, which aims to improve company profitability and reduce the long-term business risks of carbon emissions, has more than doubled since it was launched in April 2011, driven by a small group of institutional investors including Dutch and British pension funds and asset managers.
The largest new signatories include Spain's Banco Santander, Banesto and BBVA from the banking sector, fund manager Henderson and APG the asset manager. There is also a significant number of new signatories in Australia, which passed its Clean Energy Act in November last year, taking the grou'’s combined assets to over US$10 trillion.
Emilio Botín, chairman of Banco Santander, said: "Banco Santander has a strong commitment with the environment and climate change. The Bank is making significant progress by measuring and reducing its main consumption inputs and CO2 emissions as well as by integrating social and environmental criteria into the credit analysis processes."
Banking and financial services group Rabobank, investment management companies AXA IM and Aviva Investors, are among 31 organisations that joined last year and have continued their commitment to the initiative.
Paul Simpson, CDP's CEO added: "Institutional investors increasingly recognise that companies in their portfolios can reduce emissions while generating efficiencies. Minimising exposure to emissions regulation in Australia, the EU and other markets will also protect their investments for the long-term. Companies that capitalise on financial savings as a result of carbon reductions are well placed to improve their competitive position in the marketplace."
Emissions image via Shutterstock