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Alphabet, Citigroup and Walmart named among global leaders on corporate climate action in CDP climate A List


New York, NY – WEBWIRE
  • CDP names 179 corporates as leaders in corporate transparency and action on climate change - North American companies represent 20% of the global A List (36)
  • Alphabet (Google), Best Buy, Citigroup, CVS Health, General Mills, Hilton Worldwide, IGM Financial, Microsoft, Stanley Black & Decker and Walmart are among the North American leaders on CDP’s prestigious ‘A List’
  • The U.S. represents the second most A List companies (35), after Japan (38)
  • CDP scored over 8,000 companies- including more than 2,400 in North America - from A to D-; only the top 2% made the A List 
  • Companies on the climate A List outperform their peers on the stock market by 5.5% per annum according to STOXX

Major North American brands including Alphabet, Citigroup, IGM Financial, Microsoft and Walmart have been named among 179 companies on CDP’s prestigious ‘A List’ for their leadership on corporate transparency and action on climate change, released today by global non-profit CDP. North American companies were strongly represented, reflecting 20% of the global A List, with the second most A List companies headquartered in the U.S. (35) after Japan (38).

Designed to harness the competitive spirit of business to raise ambition and spur action on corporate climate action, CDP scores thousands of companies that disclose climate data through its platform each year at the request of their corporate customers and investors.

Data from STOXX has shown that the A List has outperformed its global benchmark by an average of 5.5% per annum over a seven-year period1. This indicates that transparency and leading action on climate change are correlated with financial success.

Out of over 8,000 companies worldwide scored on their 2019 disclosures—including more than 2,400 in North America—just the top 2% made the prestigious A List. The U.S. (35) and Canadian (1) A List companies include Alphabet (Google), Best Buy, Citigroup, CVS Health, General Mills, Hilton Worldwide, IGM Financial, Microsoft, Stanley Black & Decker and Walmart.

The A List companies are considered leaders because of their transparent and comprehensive disclosure of climate data, thorough awareness of climate risks, demonstration of strong governance and management of those risks, and demonstration of market-leading best practices. Examples of best practice could include setting science-based targets, shifting to renewable energy, investing in low-carbon product innovation, using internal carbon pricing or incentivizing suppliers to reduce their emissions.

The companies on the A List hail from 22 countries around the world. The countries with the headquarters of the most A List companies are Japan (38), the U.S. (35) and France (22). Only one company in Canada made the A List. Regionally, Europe hosts the most A List companies, with nearly half of the global total (85 companies), followed by Asia (51) and North America (36). Only four companies headquartered in Oceana are on the list (all in Australia), and two in Latin America (Brazil) and one in Africa (South Africa).

Other key findings include:

  • Significant increase in companies based in Japan achieving an A score—38, up from 20 last year, overtaking the U.S.
  • Companies in the U.S. continue to be highly represented in the A List (35 companies)—despite the U.S. government’s position on climate change
  • Canadian financial services company IGM Financial is the only company in Canada to make this year’s A List
  • Over 100 A List companies—including 20 in North America—have committed to or set science-based targets that are in line with the Paris Agreement

The A List is released on the eve of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos this week, which brings together leading lights from business, government and civil society. Top of the agenda this year is “How to mobilize business to respond to the risks of climate change.” The CDP A List shows which companies are taking this global challenge seriously and working to address the risks.

Bruno Sarda, President of CDP North America, said: “CDP’s A List showcases companies that model true corporate sustainability leadership and are forging forward to become environmentally and financially sound companies. I’m proud to see leading North American companies reflected in this year’s list. While climate change is already upon us, these companies know sustainability presents an exciting race to the top, an opportunity to innovate and rethink business as usual. Companies across the U.S. and Canada are proving again and again that environmental responsibility is not just good for society—it simply makes good business sense.”

CDP data shows investors and purchasers are calling for transparency and action from companies on how they are responding to climate change. In 2019, 525+ investors with US$96 trillion in assets—including 163 North American investors with US$38.2 trillion in assets—and 125 major purchasers—including 44 in North America—with US$3.6 trillion in procurement spend requested companies to disclose through CDP. 8,400 companies responded—a 20% increase on the previous year.

Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft said: “Microsoft is proud to be on the CDP Climate A List this year and for seven years in a row. We believe that as a global technology company, we’re well-positioned to enable and accelerate the low-carbon transition. In the past year, we’ve accelerated on our path to powering our global operations with 100% renewable energy; taken steps to improve water efficiency across our operations; set a science-based target in-line with a 1.5 degree scenario; and nearly doubled our internal carbon price to $15 per metric ton.”

Examples of leadership and innovation from North American Climate A List companies include:

  • Alphabet (Google) is leading on renewable energy; in addition to purchasing enough renewable energy to power all global operations in 2017 and 2018, it became the world’s largest cumulative corporate purchaser of renewable energy—its long-term renewable energy agreements provide 3.75 GW of clean, renewable energy.
  • Adobe is offering solutions to drive the low-carbon transition, including Adobe Sign. For every one million transactions using Adobe Sign instead of traditional print, sign or fax, over 27 million gallons of water, 1.5 million pounds of waste and 23.4 million pounds of CO2 emissions are avoided.
  • Citigroup is supporting sustainable business opportunities, with a 10-year, US$100 billion environmental finance goal to finance and facilitate environmental and climate solutions.
  • General Mills is engaging suppliers on sustainable production, working toward its goal of sustainably sourcing its top 10 priority ingredients by 2020— as of 2018, 85% were certified sustainable (including 100% of palm oil and 99% of fiber packing).
  • Stanley Black & Decker is creating efficient off-grid water pumps to supplement the inefficient diesel-powered pumps prominent in India that consume 20% of the country’s electricity.
  • Walmart is engaging with its suppliers to cut their emissions through its flagship Project Gigaton, which aims to avoid one billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from its value chain by 2030.

Using a comprehensive, independent and transparent methodology, CDP scores thousands of companies from A to D- on an annual basis. Those that don’t disclose or provide insufficient information are marked with an F.

The full list of companies that made this year’s climate change A List, as well as other publicly available climate change scores are available on CDP’s website at: https://www.cdp.net/en/companies/companies-scores

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About CDP

CDP is a global non-profit that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests. Voted number one climate research provider by investors and working with institutional investors with assets of US$96 trillion, we leverage investor and buyer power to motivate companies to disclose and manage their environmental impacts. Over 8,400 companies with over 50% of global market capitalization disclosed environmental data through CDP in 2019. This is in addition to the over 920 cities, states and regions who disclosed, making CDP’s platform one of the richest sources of information globally on how companies and governments are driving environmental change. CDP is a founding member of the We Mean Business Coalition. 


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