On Wednesday, September 12, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) released the results from its 2012 survey. Based on the results, not only have overall scores improved from its Global and S&P 500 survey respondents, but the average disclosure score required to gain entry on the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) increased by 4 points (11%) to 92. For the first time since the CDP survey began, two companies, Bayer and Nestle, scored full marks – a perfect score of 100! The criteria to gain entry and remain in these Indices are more stringent than ever.

Nestle demonstrates its commitment to reducing emissions from energy efficiency, switching to cleaner fuels and investing in and consuming renewable energy sources. Bayer has staked part of its business strategy on product innovation and investing in healthcare solutions with long-term societal benefits. Both companies also strive to maintain transparency and reporting practices considered best in-class across all industries.

CDP states that leaders have in common an explicit long-term approach to managing the opportunities and risks presented by climate change. Maturity in climate change management and clarity in decision-making with regard to the associated opportunities and risks help differentiate the companies recognized as leaders. The leaders realize consistent operational performance gains including lower energy costs, low-carbon energy use, increased productivity and the successful commercialization of highly resource efficient and low-carbon energy products and services. 

Another key take away from the 2012 CDP results is that investors expect higher levels of transparency and environmental, social and governance (ESG) information. The body of data continues to show a strong correlation between greater transparency and robust non-financial reporting and market outperformance compared to companies with poor records of transparency or weak ESG disclosures.   From the public’s and the investors’ perspective, full CDP and ESG disclosures lead to better long-term value creation.

 And what could be better than a perfect 100?

 –Christopher Thomas

About Friday Carbon Facts – a new series of brief articles and blogs about greenhouse gas emissions and carbon management. One article each month will focus on carbon management trends or GHG mitigation efforts based in a developing economy.