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Listed UK companies top climate change governance table

FTSE-100 constituents are sailing ahead of global competition in compiling
environmental data, according to the
Carbon
Disclosure Project
, an independent not-for-profit company which
publishes climate change data on the world’s largest companies.

The data is compiled on behalf of 385 institutional investors and hedge funds
with assets in excess of $57 trillion. The CDP 2008 report is based on
information received from the FTSE-350. The FTSE-100 had a 90% response rate
with the FTSE-250 lagging far behind, with just 58% responding.

PricewaterhouseCoopers
compiled a league table of the responses in a leadership index, based on
respondents’ climate change disclosure and governance information. The index was
then split into sectors according to their level of carbon emissions. The best
companies in each sector were:

  • AstraZeneca ­ chemicals and pharmaceuticals;
  • Barclays, HBOS, Lloyds TSB ­ financial services;
  • TUI Travel ­ hospitality and leisure;
  • BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto ­ raw materials and mining;
  • Tesco ­ retail and consumer; and
  • Centrica, Scottish and Southern ­ utilities

Paul Simpson, chief operating officer at CDP, believes companies that do a
good job of keeping track of and disclosing their emissions should be better
able to comply with the climate change bill and any future environmental
legislation, as well as enhance their bottom line.

“Clear understanding and disclosure of these opportunities and risks will
help avert long-term undisclosed exposure to climate change,” he says, “bringing
down the value of companies. As the current economic crisis shows, failing to
address undisclosed risk in the short term can lead to substantially larger
problems in the long term.”

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