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It might come as welcome news to environmental advocates that nearly 10,400 companies across the globe have been requested to disclose data on their environmental impact. This comes at the request of 680 financial institutions with US$130+ trillion in assets as part of CDP’s ongoing efforts to collect critical environmental data.
The financial institutions adding their name to a letter that will go out to over 10,000 companies include Natwest, AIB, La Banque Postale, Japan Post Bank, Metlife, Samsung Life, and Japan Post Insurance who will be joining over 600 signatories who supported CDP’s efforts in 2021. Long-time supporters of CDP’s call for transparency include financial institutions such as Allianz, Amundi, AXA, BNP Paribas, CalPERS, Capital Group, State Street, and Vanguard.
Jean-Jacques Barbéris, Head of Institutional and Corporate Clients Coverage & ESG Supervisor at Amundi emphasized, “Investors have an important role to play in driving corporate transparency and action on environmental issues… We need this comparable, consistent and clear data for our investment decision making, our research, our product development, our corporate engagement and our regulatory compliance. It is also vital for us to meet our own climate goals.”
Founded in 2000, CDP is a global non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions. To date, they have grown to hold the world’s largest TCFD-aligned repository of environmental data and aim to cover 90% of the world’s highest-impact firms by 2025.
On their Non-Disclosure Campaign, CDP writes “Our annual Non-Disclosure Campaign offers investors the opportunity to actively engage companies that have received the CDP disclosure request on behalf of investors but have not provided a response. The objective of the campaign is to drive further corporate transparency around climate change, deforestation and water security, by encouraging companies to respond to CDP’s disclosure request.”
It is said that noteworthy global companies Berkshire Hathaway, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Glencore are among the 10,400 companies that will receive a letter from CDP this year. The aforementioned companies are reported to be among almost 4,000 companies who failed to respond to the request during last year’s call to disclose their environmental data.
Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, notes that “While many companies are disclosing… there is a surprisingly large part of the market still to take the vital first step of disclosure. These companies are becoming increasingly out of touch with reality, investor and public opinion…”
Over 14,000 organizations around the world disclosed data through CDP in 2021. This year, 3,300 companies are being requested to publish information pertaining to their environmental impact for the first time, and will be required to submit this data to CDP via their online platform, which will be open from mid-April 2022. This is a notable 46% increase since CDP’s 2021 Non-Disclosure Campaign, signalling a rise in urgency to collect this valuable data.
The growing support for the call for disclosure also points towards global financial institutions’ interest in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) – a nod to CDP’s efforts to “drive investment and procurement decisions towards a zero carbon, sustainable and resilient economy”.
This is echoed in governmental responses across much of the globe with expectations for the EU, US, Japan, New Zealand, and India to roll out mandatory environmental disclosure requirements in 2022. The UK is pioneering the way forward in this regard with TCFD recommendations being implemented to require UK companies to disclose climate data by law. A press release from The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy states that “Firms will be required to disclose climate-related financial information, ensuring they consider the risks and opportunities they face as a result of climate change.”
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