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Report Report

Report Report: Disclosure, climate action, water and inclusive growth

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.

Disclose What Matters (Ceres) explores how 476 large companies in the Forbes Global 2000 disclose and perform against five indicators important to investors: Disclosure standards; board oversight of sustainability; materiality assessment; stakeholder engagement; and external assurance. Select key findings include:

  • 70 percent of major global corporations use the GRI standards in their disclosure, while 58 percent both use GRI indicators and include a GRI content index.
  • 15 percent provide strong disclosure of the role of the board in overseeing sustainability.
  • 23 percent provide detailed disclosure of materiality practices.
  • 17 percent disclose which specific stakeholder constituencies they are engaging, how they engaged with them, what feedback they received and how that feedback was incorporated into corporate strategy and reporting.
  • 58 percent provide no evidence of formal assurance of sustainability disclosures.

Exponential Climate Action Roadmap (Future Earth and Sitra) details actions that each sector could take to achieve a 50 percent reduction in GHG emissions by around 2030. The roadmap also identifies eight "game-changing" strategies to overcome the most significant obstacles in the next 12-18 months.

Fulfilling America’s Pledge: How States, Cities and Businesses Are Leading the United States to a Low-Carbon Future (America’s Pledge initiative) finds that current commitments and market forces will reduce economy-wide emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, around two-thirds of the original U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement (26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025). The report lays out 10 Climate Action Strategies that, if fully implemented, have potential to further reduce economy-wide emissions to 21 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Global Climate Action from Cities, Regions, and Businesses (Data-Driven Yale, NewClimate Institute, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and CDP) evaluates and quantifies the combined impact of current city, regional and company commitments to reduce GHG emissions globally. Key findings include:

  • By 2030, global GHG emissions could be 1.5 to 2.2 GtCO2e/year lower if individual commitments from nearly 6,000 cities, states and regions, and over 2,000 companies are fully implemented, compared to what would be achieved through national policies currently underway.
  • In the United States, the full implementation of the reported and quantified individual city, region and company commitments could provide at least half of the emissions reductions needed to meet America’s Paris pledge.

Perspectives on America's Water (Nestlé Waters North America) features opinions from more than 6,000 U.S. consumers and experts on water-related topics. Key findings include:

  • The majority of both consumers and experts gave companies a C grade in regard to their contributions to water sustainability efforts.
  • 53 percent of consumers vs. 67 percent of experts believe that businesses in the U.S. use too much water.
  • More than three-quarters of consumers believe that companies should prioritize three actions: reduce the amount of water used in their operations (81 percent); follow a business standard for water conservation (80 percent); and use eco-friendly products (81 percent).
  • 80 percent of consumers believe clean water is the most important factor to living a healthy life.
  • 91 percent of consumers believe clean drinking water is the most important natural resource.
  • 45 percent of consumers believe clean drinking water infrastructure should receive the most funding.

Transforming Business for a Sustainable Economy (Bain & Company) analyzes survey responses from 297 global companies to better understand the current state of corporate sustainability and how it will evolve over the next five years. Key findings include:

  • 81 percent of companies stated sustainability is more important to their business today than it was five years ago, and 85 percent believe that it will be even more important in five years.
  • Only 4 percent of companies surveyed feel that they have fully succeeded in achieving their sustainability goals; 47 percent of companies stated they failed in achieving their sustainability goals.
  • The percentage of companies with a "truly transformational" sustainability ambition is expected to nearly triple over the next five years (from 9 percent to 26 percent).
  • 90 percent of companies expect that their core business model will need to change in order to operate in a truly sustainable economy, and 38 percent of companies feel that their core business model will need to change radically.

Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century: Accelerating Climate Action in Urgent Times (Global Commission on the Economy and Climate) finds that bold climate action could deliver a direct economic gain of $26 trillion globally by 2030, compared with the business-as-usual scenario. The report also finds that bold climate action could generate more than 65 million new low-carbon jobs by 2030 and avoid more than 700,000 premature deaths from air pollution by 2030.

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