Investor Interest in Climate Change Data Grows: CDP

Investor Interest in Climate Change Data Grows: CDP

The number of investors seeking corporate climate change information through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) grew by nearly 25 percent this year over 2008, signaling the growing importance of the issue in institutional investment decisions.

The nonprofit has issued its 2009 information request to thousands of companies around the world on behalf of investors, government bodies and purchasing organizations, compiling the information into its mammoth database of corporate climate change figures.

Since the first data request in 2003, the number of companies responding to the questionnaire has grown from 500 to 3,700; investor signatories ballooned from 35 to 475 over the same period.   

Investors use the data in a variety of ways, according to Paul Simpson, CDP's chief operating officer, such as for corporate engagement, management discussion and sectoral analysis. The take-away: Investors want the companies in which they sink their money to report climate change-related risks and opportunities.

"It is vital for the business community to measure and report on their greenhouse gas emissions and strategies on climate change in order to provide their investors with the information they require," Simpson told GreenBiz.com via email. "Companies who fail to do so are increasingly becoming a minority and are likely to face additional pressures and engagement from investors to do so."

CDP surveyed 80 of its investors signatories late last year and found that the vast majority weighed climate change in their decisions, with more than 80 percent saying they considered climate change important relative to other issues. Nearly half signaled their willingness to implore companies to do more than just disclose the information, such as asking for emissions reductions.

The full findings of the survey will be released in March.