Germany boasts most climate leaders
Some countries are proportionally over-represented on the lists, particularly Germany (which dominates the Top 10). Finland, Spain and the Netherlands also have a strong presence. But France, Japan and the United Kingdom are under-represented.
The companies with the two highest disclosure scores in this year's analysis (receiving the maximum score of 100) were German pharmaceuticals company Bayer and consumer goods giant Nestle of Switzerland, which was new to the list this year.
Here's the rest of the top 10:
Gas Natural SDG (Spain)
Diageo (United Kingdom)
Nokia Group (Finland)
Allianz Group (Germany)
US companies make progress
As you might expect, the United States has the most companies on the CDLI. Aside from its Global 500 analysis, CDP also publishes an assessment of U.S. companies that are part of the Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P) large equities index. The latest survey suggests these companies are narrowing the climate strategy performance gap compared with the Global 500, says CDP.
"The scores also show a market increase in the number of companies addressing these issues at the board and executive level," says CDP in its S&P analysis. "The data suggests that, in the absence of global or national regulation, business is stepping into the leadership vacuum and embracing climate change as a business imperative."
The average disclosure scores among the S&P 500 companies improved by 13 percent and far more of them were eligible to receive a performance score rating their credentials as a sustainable business investment.
The top five S&P companies for carbon disclosure in 2012 are Microsoft, UPS, Hess, Pepco Holdings and Sempra Energy.
Meanwhile, 15 companies from the S&P 500 are recognized for carbon performance: Ace, Allergan, Allstate, Autodesk, Bank of America, Best Buy, Eaton, Exelon, Intel, Lockheed Martin, North Grumman, NYSE Euronext, Pepco Holdings, Pfizer and Wells Fargo.