Global firms accused of concealing their environmental impact

A group of 88 investors with nearly US$10 trillion assets are targeting companies that are not transparent enough about their environmental impact, and urging them to more fully disclose this information.

The investors are targeting 707 companies across 46 counties for not reporting their climate change, water security and deforestation data. This includes Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Amazon, Volvo, Alibaba, Qantas Airways as well as palm oil company Genting Plantations. These companies have been selected because of their high environmental impact and lack of transparency on these issues to date, according to the non-profit global environmental disclosure platform CDP.

546 companies are being targeted to disclose on climate change, 166 on water security and 115 on deforestation. Candriam, HSBC Global Asset Management, Investec Asset Management,Environment Agency Pension Fund, Cathay Financial Holdings, Amundi, NN Group and Washington State Investment Board are among the investors that will be engaging these companies.

This investor engagement is part of CDP’s 2019 Non-Disclosure Campaign, which aims to drive further corporate transparency around climate change, deforestation and water security, by using shareholder influence to push companies to respond to CDP’s disclosure request.

The most targeted industry for climate change disclosure this year is the Services industry (27% of all companies), followed by Manufacturing (18%) and Fossil Fuels (12%). For water security, the most targeted industries are Manufacturing (26%), Retail (23%) and Fossil Fuels (11%), while for deforestation, it is Retail (30%), Food, Beverage and Agriculture (26%) and Manufacturing (16%). The US is home to the most companies being targeted in the campaign (20%) closely followed by Australia at 16%.

Emily Kreps, Global Director of Investor Initiatives at CDP, said: “Companies must disclose their role in addressing the climate crisis we face. We know that climate change, water security and deforestation present material risks to investments, but these risks cannot be managed without proper information. While some companies may say they already disclose in their own sustainability reports – that is not enough on its own. Investors and the wider market need transparency in the form of consistent, comparable and relevant metrics that are easy to access, compare and benchmark."

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