Investors urge leading companies to report environmental data

A group of 88 investors, including the Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF), have urged 707 of some of the world’s largest companies to start disclosing their environmental information.

EAPF and investors such as HSBC, Investec and Candriam, are pushing them to disclose the data through CDP, a non-profit global environmental disclosure platform.

The 707 firms, including Exxon Mobil, BP and Amazon, have £12.2trn market capitalisation across 46 countries, and have been criticised for not reporting their climate change, water security and deforestation data.

A total of 546 companies are being targeted to disclose on climate change, 166 on water security and 115 on deforestation.

CDP said that these companies have been selected due to their “high environmental impact and lack of transparency” on environmental issues.

CDP global director of investor initiatives, Emily Kreps, said that environmental risks “cannot be managed without proper information”.

She continued: “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.

“And as for companies that say their investors do not care about these issues, this campaign demonstrates that is simply not the case.

“Investors are asking for this information and using it – for corporate engagement, selecting stocks and building investment products. 7,000 companies are already disclosing through CDP and providing the market with the information it is asking for – the ‘vow of silence’ from non-disclosing companies cannot go on.”

The US had the most companies targeted by the campaign (20 per cent), followed by Australia (16 per cent), while the service industry was the most targeted industry for climate change disclosure (27 per cent).

The manufacturing industry was the sector most targeted for water security data (26 per cent), while for deforestation it was retail (30 per cent).

Cathay Financial Holdings chief investment officer, Sophia Cheng added: “Climate change, deforestation and water security are critical challenges that require immediate action.

“Cathay believes that investors can play an important role in encouraging their investee companies to disclose environmental information - this campaign should improve corporate transparency and help investors better manage these environmental risks and opportunities.”

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