Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Canadian corporations addressing carbon challenge: report

Canada’s largest corporations are paying greater attention to carbon-related issues, such as climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s annual report on Canada.

The CDP sent its annual investor information request form to 200 of Canada’s largest corporations – 108 firms responded. Three-quarters of respondents reported having integrated climate change into their overall business strategy, “confirming a commitment to long-term, sustainable growth amidst regulatory uncertainty and the physical effects of a changing climate.”

In addition, over 85% of reporting companies are disclosing climate change and GHG emissions performance either via their annual reports or other communications. “These results indicate climate change is an important consideration in Canadian companies’ future strategic planning,” the report states.

Despite the increased disclosure, only one-third of companies have set active GHG reduction targets and only 30% report having dedicated budgets for energy efficiency or emissions reduction activities.

Ninety-one of the 108 companies reported a cumulative 425 emission reduction activities that were either underway or completed, demonstrating that companies are planning and implementing energy reduction initiatives to reduce this growing operating expense, the report said.

More than 85% of respondents reported that senior managers or board committees have responsibility for climate change, up from 75% in 2010 and indicating an increasing trend in senior management engagement in climate change governance.

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