Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


US firms missing emissions targets


Carbon emissions among the largest companies in the US are on course to rise by almost four per cent over the next ten years, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

In research into the trends of S&P 100 firms, the CDP found that, according to the companies’ own reporting on the issue, emissions rose between 2007 and 2009 by an average of 0.36 per cent per year.

To meet the US government’s commitment to a 17 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2020, emissions will have to be reduced annually by 1.05 per cent, according to the CDP’s calculations. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, meanwhile, recommends average annual reductions on 3.9 per cent.

The CDP was only able to use 51 companies from the index because many did not report fully on emissions. The organization does concede, however, that increased and improved reporting may be partly responsible for the apparent rise in emissions.

Utilities, energy, materials, and industrials are the most polluting sectors, and account for 90 per cent of total emissions. Information technology, healthcare and the financial sector have seen the greatest increases in emissions.

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