330+ global companies worth nearly US$11 trillion in market capitalization have been highlighted for their environmental transparency and action on climate change, forests and water security by CDP, the non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions.
These companies have been named on CDP’s annual A List, out of nearly 15,000 companies scored on their environmental disclosure.
The science is clear: limiting warming to 1.5°C requires businesses to tackle all environmental issues together. Yet just 12 companies – 1.3% of the 900+ companies requested to disclose against all three CDP questionnaires – were awarded a Triple A for their transparency and action across climate change, forests and water security, down from 14 last year.
While more companies than ever are factoring their climate change impacts into business-as-usual, with 280+ companies scoring an A for their climate change disclosures (a 34% increase since 2021), progress remains slow on deforestation and water security. There was only a 4% increase in the number of Forests A Listers (just 1 more company than last year) and a 12.7% decrease in the number of Water Security A Listers (118 in 2021 to 103 in 2022).
CDP regularly raises the bar for what qualifies as environmental leadership. In 2022, this included new or more stringent scoring on, amongst other criteria, 1.5°C aligned climate transition planning, verification of deforestation and/or conversion-free commodity volumes, and verification of water data. Companies must also continuously raise the bar on their level of ambition and action if they want to keep their place on the A List among other leaders in environmental transparency.
Dexter Galvin, Global Director of Corporations & Supply Chains at CDP, said: “In a year of ever-increasing environmental concerns around the world, the need for transformational, urgent and collaborative change is more critical than ever. Environmental disclosure is the first vital step towards a net-zero and nature-positive future, so A List companies should be commended for the level of transparency in their CDP responses. But we cannot ignore that these companies are in the minority. Most are still not managing all environmental issues holistically, and far too many are remaining complacent or failing to respond at all. Companies must step up to the challenge as CDP continues to lift the bar for what qualifies as environmental leadership, and since there is no route to 1.5°C without nature, they must speed and scale up their progress in addressing deforestation and water impacts, dependencies and risks, too.”
Companies setting meaningful climate change, deforestation and water security targets are those leading the way:
- 76% of companies on the Climate Change A List have an approved science-based absolute or intensity emissions target (compared to 19% of A- to B- scoring companies, and 2% of C to D- scoring companies).
- 100% of companies on the Forests A List have a forest-related target linked to a no-deforestation/conversion commitment for the commodity they score an A for (compared to 73% of A- to B- scoring companies, and 18% of C to D- scoring companies).
- 67% of companies on the Water Security A List have water withdrawal, water pollution reduction or WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) targets (compared to 41% of A- to B- scoring companies and 15% of C to D- scoring companies).
A List companies are also better equipped to follow these targets up with clear, timebound plans for implementing them, with 95% of Climate Change A List companies reporting that they have a climate transition plan which aligns with a 1.5°C world (compared to 52% of A- to B- scoring companies, and 21% of C to D- scoring companies).
Too many companies are failing to disclose. More than 29,500 companies worth at least US$24.5 trillion in market capitalization – including Aramco, Tesla, Berkshire Hathaway, Exxon Mobil and Chevron – scored an F for failing to respond to disclosure requests from their investors and clients or providing insufficient information in their responses.
59% of companies scored between D- and C, meaning they are beginning to recognize their environmental impacts and are at the start of their disclosure journey. However, far too many remain stagnant, with 66% of D- to A- scoring companies in 2021 not improving their scores in 2022. These companies must accelerate their environmental transparency and action efforts.
The market demand for corporate environmental transparency is louder than ever. In a landmark year for disclosure, and with mandatory disclosure regulation set to take effect within the next three years in many major economies, more than 680 investors with over US$130 trillion in assets, and 280+ large purchasers with US$6.4 trillion in buying power requested thousands of companies to disclose through CDP in 2022. This resulted in a record-breaking 18,700+ corporate disclosures, a 233% increase since 2015 when the Paris Agreement was signed.
Vincent Warnery, CEO of Beiersdorf, said: “At Beiersdorf, our purpose is to Care Beyond Skin, which not only means providing superior skin care to our consumers, but also acknowledging our shared responsibility as a global corporate citizen, towards natural resources and our communities. We are very proud to be recognized on CDP’s Triple A List for 2022, an achievement that stands for our serious commitment to drive sustainability and lead by example. Beiersdorf has a deeply-rooted motivation to strive for environmental stewardship and help tackle three of the greatest challenges of our time, which are closely interlinked: climate change, deforestation and water security. We hope to inspire others in this endeavor, which starts with environmental disclosure, requires a true transformation, and is ultimately a collaborative effort.”
Antoine Arnault, LVMH Image & Environment, said: “LVMH is pleased to see its longstanding commitment to sustainability recognized by CDP with a Triple A score in 2022. LVMH would like to share this recognition with its suppliers and scientific partners. Measuring and communicating environmental impact across the LVMH value chain on climate, water and biodiversity – including forests – have proved to be powerful tools for fostering actions. Given our deep dependency on biodiversity, LVMH is particularly committed to scaling up regenerative practices within its supply chain that bridge the preservation of biodiversity and the fight against climate change.”
Gabrielle Ginér, Head of Environmental Sustainability at BT Group, said: “We are delighted to be awarded an A rating from CDP for our climate disclosure for the seventh year running, as we continue to keep on top of CDP’s evolving disclosure requirements. When it comes to upholding climate commitments, businesses must be transparent about their annual progress and the challenges they face when tackling emissions – otherwise we miss a crucial opportunity to drive collaboration between organizations like ours, our supply chains and partners.”
Chris Kennedy, CFO and COO at ITV, said: “ITV is delighted to be improving our CDP score once again this year by achieving an A score for the first time. Over the last few years, CDP has helped to guide ITV’s approach in embedding environmental action coherently across the whole business, ensuring that we are fit to thrive in a sustainable future. Achieving an A rating gives us confirmation that we are putting solid foundations in place to navigate the transition successfully.”
Justin Steinberg, Portfolio Manager, Sargasso Environmental Strategy at Steinberg Asset Management, said: “CDP is an indispensable partner and resource. Since you can’t manage what you don’t measure, we view disclosure to CDP as a key indicator of corporate environmental leadership. The best CDP reports are filled with critical information regarding a company’s environmental performance and strategy; poor or non-existent disclosure also speaks volumes. Because water, deforestation and climate are inextricably linked we seek out those companies that exhibit excellent disclosure in multiple areas. We believe that companies that are disclosing rigorously and integrating environmental issues into their business strategy and operations demonstrate superior risk management, and we expect they will be better positioned to capitalize on new opportunities as the environmental megatrend takes hold.”