The level of public disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions among the world's 800 largest companies is “unacceptably poor,” according to research published this week by the Environmental Investment Organization (EIO).
Environmental Tracking: Global 800 2013 Carbon Rankings found that only 37 percent of companies are reporting complete data and correctly adopting the basic principles of GHG emissions reporting. The report, the last in a series of rankings and reports launched this week by the EIO reveals that just 21 percent of companies had their data externally verified.
According to the Environmental Tracking Carbon Ranking series, which includes companies based on their market size irrespective of their green credentials, only one firm out of the 800 — BASF — reported emissions across its entire value chain.
“This ought to be a wakeup call for companies,” said EIO chief executive Sam Gill. “Since the majority of total corporate emissions often come from Scope 3 sources, large quantities of emissions are not being accounted for.”
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“As the world shifts towards a low carbon model it’s extremely important that we have access to a reliable, consistent and cross-comparable greenhouse gas emissions database on the world's largest companies,” he added.
According to the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Reporting Standard, BASF (which General Motors recently named its 2012 Supplier of the Year) topped the ranking disclosing all 15 scope 3 categories, with a combined scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions intensity of 932.74 tonnes of CO2e/$1m of turnover.
US-based First Energy finished last, with no public data and an inferred combined scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions intensity of 10,342.03 tonnes of CO2e/$1m of turnover.
Geographically, Italy and Spain together ranked highest in terms of disclosure and verification, with 62 percent of companies reporting complete data and a further 54 percent having their data verified. Overall, Europe leads the world on all disclosure metrics with 35% of companies reporting complete and independently verified data.
More and more shareholders now expect companies to be transparent about their emissions. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) announced earlier this year that investors representing a third of the world’s invested capital have asked more than 5,000 public companies to report their carbon emissions and climate change strategies through the CDP.