Study: Most U.S. Companies Take Climate Change Action

A majority of the S&P 500 disclosing companies now integrate climate change into their core business strategy, according to the 2011 S&P 500 report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

The report, which analyzed disclosures from 339 of the largest U.S. corporations by market capitalization, found an increase in respondents who have senior executive or board oversight of their company’s climate change programs to 87% this year from 68% in 2010. There was also a doubling of companies reporting climate change policies as an integral part of corporate business strategy, up from 35% of respondents in 2010 to 65% in 2011.

Meanwhile, 64% of respondents are setting greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, up from 51% in 2010 and 32% in 2008. Respondents cite commercial benefits as significant, with more than 60% of projects offering payback in three years or less, according to CDP. The most common projects disclosed by corporations were improvements to energy efficiency in their facilities, business processes and transportation networks -- supported both by capital investments and changes in employee behaviour.  In addition, 54% of companies now offer financial incentives to staff for managing climate change issues, up from 35% in 2010.

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