February 23, 2012
Investors Urge Large Corporations to Move Beyond Reporting and Take Carbon Action
by Robert Kropp
The Carbon Action initiative of the Carbon Disclosure Project, launched last year on behalf of 34
institutional investors, now has 92 signatories with more than $10 trillion in assets under
Investor support for the CDP
Carbon Action initiative has more than doubled since its launch last year, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) announced
Carbon Action was launched in April, 2011, on behalf of 34 institutional
investors with $7.6 trillion in assets under management. Today, the number of investors stands at
92, and their combined assets exceed $10 trillion.
This year, the initiative wrote
to CEOs of 415 of the world's largest public companies. The letters, which are "tailored to
company-specific circumstances," according to CDP, requests that the companies set and disclose
annual emissions reduction targets, invest in emission reduction activities, and reduce emissions
across their supply chains.
A report issued
earlier this month by CDP found that large corporations "are not yet demonstrating significant
emissions reductions in their supply chains." Less than a quarter of corporate respondents "help
their suppliers to quantify the return on their low-carbon investments."
builds upon the work of CDP, which requests corporate disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
and other climate-related risks. More than 650 institutions, with more than $78 trillion in assets,
are signatories, and 80% of the world's largest corporations report their carbon emissions to CDP.
"Institutional investors increasingly recognize that companies in their portfolios can
reduce emissions while generating efficiencies," Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, said. "Minimizing
exposure to emissions regulation in Australia, the EU and other markets will also protect their
investments for the long-term. Companies that capitalize on financial savings as a result of
carbon reductions are well placed to improve their competitive position in the marketplace."
CDP noted a significant increase in signatories from Australia, whose Senate narrowly approved
a Clean Energy Act in November. The Act, which will take force in July, requires the country's 500
highest emitters of GHGs to pay a carbon tax.
Eighteen US-based institutions are among the
92 signatories to Carbon Action. They are the Blumenthal Foundation, Boston Common Asset
Management, Calvert Group, CERES, Clean Yield Group, ClearBridge Advisors, Connecticut Retirement
Plans and Trust Funds, First Affirmative Financial Network, Mercy Investment Services, the Nathan
Cummings Foundation, Neuberger Berman, Pax World Funds, Portfolio 21 Investments, Rockefeller
Financial - Sustainability & Impact Investing Group, Swift Foundation, Tri-State Coalition for
Responsible Investment, Walden Asset Management, and Zevin Asset Management.