Report Report: Customer insights, power purchasing, proxy preview and more
The Report Report is a monthly wrap-up of recent research on sustainable business and clean technology, produced by Corporate Eco Forum, a by-invitation membership organization comprised of large, global companies that demonstrate a serious commitment at the senior executive level to sustainability as a business strategy issue.
CEO Guide to Water: Building Resilient Business (WBCSD) offers insight into water-related business risks and opportunities to help business leaders make the case for increased investment in sustainable water management. The report also proposes a seven-step framework to help business leaders with the transition to a more robust water stewardship strategy.
Innovation in Power Purchase Agreement Structures (WBCSD) details the main power purchase agreement (PPA) structures that companies are using to buy renewable energy, as well as the challenges that corporate buyers are grappling with. The report also provides examples of innovative market developments to highlight pathways for future growth.
Insights from the Reporting Exchange: Corporate Governance and Harmonization (WBCSD and Climate Disclosure Standards Board) examines corporate governance requirements across 60 countries to identify opportunities for further alignment in sustainability reporting. The report finds that the strongest aligned subject areas within the examined corporate governance codes were risk management and internal control, corporate leadership and remuneration, and dialogue with shareholders. However, the most inconsistently applied subject areas were those associated with accountability.
Keeping Customer Connections (PA Consulting Group and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation) offers insight into customer attitudes towards reselling, donating or recycling products considered to be in their "end of use" phase. The report also highlights programs that major retailers have implemented to boost engagement with customers on the circular economy, such as product take-back incentives.
Mind the gap: The $1.6 Trillion Energy Transition Risk (Carbon Tracker) compares demand for oil, gas and thermal coal under the International Energy Agency’s Beyond 2 degrees Celsius Scenario. The report finds that fossil-fuel companies risk losing $1.6 trillion by 2025 if they operate their business according to current government emissions policies instead of international climate goals.
Proxy Preview 2018 (As You Sow, the Sustainable Investments Institute and Proxy Impact) features more than 400 shareholder resolutions filed on environmental, social and governance issues. The top three shareholder issues are political activity spending (80 resolutions), climate risk (80 resolutions) and equal treatment for women (70 resolutions). The 125 corporate signatories to the RE100 campaign need to add 87 gigawatts of new wind and solar power capacity worldwide by 2030 to meet their 100 percent renewable energy commitments, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance research. The report suggests that not all of the RE100 members will meet their commitment.
Ready or Not: Are Companies Prepared for the TCFD Recommendations? (CDP and Climate Disclosure Standards Board) analyzes data from 1,681 global companies across 11 sectors to determine their readiness to disclose information according to the recommendations set out by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Key findings include:
- 83 percent of companies recognize the financial risks associated with climate change.
- 88 percent identify policy changes and new regulations as the primary risks of transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
- However, there is a gap between companies’ acknowledgment of climate risks and actions for tackling them; only one in 10 companies incentivizes their board members to manage climate-related risks and opportunities.
- Companies in France, the U.K. and Germany are leading the way in disclosing information across three out of the four thematic areas identified by the TCFD: governance; risk management, metrics and targets.
Rewiring Leadership: The Future We Want, the Leadership We Need (University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)) outlines the leadership development model developed by CISL to help businesses equip their leadership with the skills needed to unlock the opportunities presented by the future economy, as well as address the most pressing threats to business and society, such as climate change and wealth inequality.
Targeting Value (SustainAbility) details the current landscape of corporate sustainability goals, with a focus on the evolving and varied nature of goals, the growing focus on impact, variable timeframes and more. The report also identifies key barriers to setting high-impact goals and highlights current best practices for designing high-impact goals that deliver strong business value and societal impact. The Governance & Accountability Institute reveals that 85 percent of S&P 500 companies published a sustainability or corporate responsibility report in 2017 — up from roughly 20 percent in 2011.
The A-List of Climate Policy Engagement (InfluenceMap) examines 300 global companies and 75 leading trade associations to identify the top 20 business leaders advocating for ambitious climate policy. CEF members recognized in the top-20 "A-list" included:
- Unilever (4)
- Siemens (9)
- Apple (10)
- Google (11)
- Amazon (13)