New findings show climate change now a key business issue
Four in five Canadian companies (84 percent) responding to the 2008 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) questionnaire said they are integrating climate change into their risk management strategies.
These findings - published in an Executive Action Briefing published by the Conference Board of Canada show that climate change is rapidly becoming a major strategic and operational issue for companies and institutional investors.
The Carbon Disclosure Project represents the largest registry of qualitative and quantitative climate change information from corporations in the world. The CDP represents an efficient process whereby a large number of institutional investors, with a combined asset base of US $57 trillion, collectively sign a single global request for disclosure of information on climate risk.
In 2008, the CDP sent a voluntary request to 3,000 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world by market capitalization (including the 200 largest companies traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange) on behalf of 385 global investors (including 40 Canadian investors). More than half-55 per cent-of the 200 Canadian companies surveyed responded, compared with 45 per cent the previous year.
'Companies feel the effects of climate change in many ways. Business operations may be directly impacted, and supply chains and product delivery may be vulnerable. Climate change can also present a range of regulatory, reputational, competitive, and litigation risks for companies,' said Len Coad, Director, Environment, Energy and Technology at The Conference Board of Canada, which is the Canadian partner for administering the CDP survey and preparing the Canada 200 report.
'When assessing companies for their portfolios, investors are shifting their focus to public company disclosure of climate change related risks, opportunities, and strategies, he added.'