Environmental platform urges more than 1,600 high-emitting firms to disclose data

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CDP, which has standardised data to allow investors and others to compare corporate performance in areas like climate change, water and deforestation, said 288 financial institutions with around $29 trillion in assets will be writing to the companies to urge them to disclose the data.

The companies targeted in the 2023 campaign include repeat non-disclosers such as Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Glencore (OTC:GLNCY) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), CDP said in a statement.

Glencore declined to comment. The other companies did not respond to requests for comment.

Collectively, the non-disclosers emit an estimated +4,200 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually – which CDP said was almost equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of the United Kingdom, the European Union and Canada combined.

CDP works with small groups of lead shareholders to help them target companies and ratchet up pressure on boards to listen, said Claire Elsdon, CDP’s joint global director of capital markets.

Financial institutions need the data “to support risk management practices, tracking portfolio alignment to net zero goals and unlocking sustainability-linked opportunities,” she said. “These uses can serve to not only safeguard but also boost long-term profitability,” Elsdon said.

Since it launched in 2017, CDP has expanded the universe of companies it targets for data disclosure. That has meant the number of non-disclosing companies targeted this year is higher than in its 2022 campaign.

Despite the progress, disclosure remains a problem in high-emitting sectors and getting laggards to submit data will prove tricky, she acknowledged.

Overall, about 50% of companies across sectors disclose environmental data, Elsdon told Reuters.

The 2022 campaign delivered responses from 388 high-impact companies out of nearly 1,500 targeted, and CDP said firms were 2.3 times more likely to disclose if they were directly engaged by financial institutions.

Investors targeting non-dislosing companies this year include Sumitomo Life Insurance, AQR and Legal & General Investment Management.