Private jets are often the transportation of choice for attendees of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, here seen in Davos © REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Private jets are often the transportation of choice for attendees of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, here seen in Davos © REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Firms declared ‘A-list’ for climate commitments

20 January 2020

Businesses including BT, Lego, Sony, Unilever, and Walmart have been named as leaders in transparency and action on climate change. 

The list, which has been compiled by non-profit CDP, identified 179 corporates as being part of the A-list which were deemed to be working to address the risks of climate change and reducing carbon emissions in 2019. 

The A-list firms were assessed on transparency and disclosure of climate data, awareness of climate risks, and whether they demonstrated strong governance and management of those risks. Examples of best practice were also considered including “setting science-based targets, shifting to renewable energy, investing in low-carbon product innovation, using internal carbon pricing or incentivising suppliers to reduce their emissions”.

Firms were ranked A to D on their climate initiatives. Other A-list organisations included H&M, L’Oreal, Microsoft, Nestlé, and Sainsbury’s. Firms that failed to disclose or provided insufficient information received an F including Amazon, BP, and Netflix. 

Examples of innovation and leadership highlighted by CDP included Sony creating more energy-efficient gaming consoles, with the latest Playstation 4 set to be 28% more efficient than previous models. 

Lego has set targets to use sustainable materials for all packaging by 2025 and all products by 2030, while Walmart is engaging with its suppliers to cut their emissions through its flagship Project Gigaton.

Dexter Galvin, global director of corporations & supply chains at CDP, said: “Other companies should look to these leaders for inspiration and learn from them. The latest science says we need global emissions to urgently peak and start declining by 7.6% a year to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. 

“It’s clear that global business has a critical role to play in this existential challenge. Companies can and should become part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Leading on climate action is good business in today’s economy – it will be essential business in tomorrow’s economy.”

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has called on businesses attending its annual meeting in Davos to set a net-zero target on carbon emissions by 2050. 

The climate is set to be one of the top issues discussed by world and business leaders this year. Last week, a WEF report found failure to take action on climate change was ranked as the top global risk.

Separately, a survey conducted by the Business Travel Show found 60% of travel buyers do not have an ethical travel programme, which considers how business travel impacts the environment and human rights. 

Around 28% of buyers plan to introduce an ethical travel programme. However, a quarter of buyers believe it would be too costly while 8% have no intention to disrupt the status quo.

Of the 39% with ethical programmes in place, a fifth of buyers restrict trips that are not essential and 21% are switching from air travel to rail where possible. A further 29% of buyers believe air miles should be banned to discourage unnecessary air travel.

Travel buyers also admitted the push for ethical travel options is largely coming from the travellers (39%), followed by procurement at 24%.

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