Companies Worth US$15 trillion on CDP 2020 ‘A List’ of Environmental Leaders

Disclosure organisation reveals 45% increase in top-rated firms, welcomes “growing environmental awareness”.

More than 300 companies have been included in environmental non-profit CDP’s 2020 ‘A List’, representing a 45% increase in the number of firms given a top rating for environmental transparency and action.

The A list members include AstraZeneca, Danone, Firmenich, HP, KAO Corporation, Klabin, Mars, Symrise and Mitsubishi Electric.

CDP’s A List showcases the companies leading on environmental transparency and action, based on their annual disclosure through CDP’s climate change, forests and water security questionnaires. Almost 6,000 companies disclose through CDP at the request of investors and corporate buyers.

This year saw a major increase in the number of companies achieving an A score, said CDP, with increases across all three themes assessed by the organisation. Along with the high levels of disclosure, this shows growing environmental awareness among the business world in 2020.

For climate scores, the increase is largely due to more companies choosing to be transparent by disclosing data. The growth in companies scoring an A for tackling deforestation and water security points to increased action in these areas, as the higher levels of disclosure does not fully account for the increase. Forests is particularly notable as the number of companies on the A List doubled from a low base.

“CDP data shows growing environmental awareness among the business world in 2020, which is hugely positive considering the unprecedented challenges business and society have faced this year. We have the wind in our sails. Now, we need these pioneers to inspire the sluggish majority of corporates if the private sector is to take a leadership role when climate targets ratchet up at COP26 next year. The race is on,” said Dexter Galvin, Global Director of Corporations & Supply Chains at CDP.

The A List companies are located globally, with most coming from Europe (132), Asia (100) and North America (61). The top countries for A List headquarters are Japan (66), US (58), UK (21), Germany (19) and France (18). Last year Japan overtook the US and Asia overtook North America for the first time, with this solidifying further this year. Around half of the A List (over 150 companies) are either new or returning.

While there has been a big increase in the A List this year, it represents a minority of companies assessed. Most (74%) of companies scored by CDP achieved D-C scores, meaning they are only just starting their environmental journey and becoming aware of how environmental issues impact their business.

Companies are scored based on CDP’s scoring methodology covering: comprehensive disclosure of environmental impacts, risks, opportunities, governance and actions; awareness of environmental risks and how they relate to their business; demonstrating management of these environmental risks and evidence of best practice associated with environmental leadership.

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