Reports: Diversity, Disclosure, CDP and the SDGs


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.

The Ambition Loop (U.N. Global Compact, We Mean Business and World Resources Institute) highlights examples of companies raising their ambition on climate issues due to clear and supportive government policies. The report highlights examples across three areas: electric power; transportation land; and forests.

Beyond the Cycle (CDP) assesses 24 oil and gas companies on their business readiness for the transition to a low-carbon economy. The report gave the highest scores to Equinor, Total, Shell and Eni. Additional key findings include:

  • The oil and gas industry as a whole dedicated just 1.3 percent of its total capital expenditure to low-carbon transition planning in 2018.
  • 15 of the 24 oil and gas companies analyzed have set climate targets.
  • 10 companies are involved in Carbon Capture, Utilization Storage projects and collectively account for 68 percent of current global capacity.
  • 18 of the 24 oil and gas companies analyzed have disclosed Scope 3 emissions.

Creating a Sustainable Food Future (World Resources Institute) proposes 22 solutions aimed at building a sustainable food future capable of supporting a population of nearly 10 billion people by 2050. The solutions are divided into five focus areas: reduce growth in demand for food and agricultural products; increase food production without expanding agricultural land; exploit reduced demand on agricultural land to protect and restore forests, savannas and peatlands; increase fish supply through improved wild fisheries management and aquaculture; and reduce GHG emissions from agricultural production.

Discovering Business Value in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Trucost) finds that the 13 companies participating in the inaugural application of Trucost’s SDG Evaluation Tool generated nearly $233 billion of SDG-aligned business revenues in 2017, equivalent to 87 percent of their total revenues. The 13 companies analyzed in the report are Aguas Andinas, AMD, Arm, CLP Holdings, HP Inc., Iberdrola, Ingersoll Rand, Ørsted, Rockwool Group, S&P Global, Spectrum Brands Holdings, Tarkett and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Diversity & Inclusion in Corporate Social Engagement (CECP: The CEO Force For Good) explores how companies are integrating diversity and inclusion (D&I) into their corporate citizenship and responsibility priorities. The white paper identifies six trends:

  1. Companies are increasingly addressing D&I through corporate social engagement and expect this trend to continue.
  2. Companies’ primary motivations for advancing D&I through corporate social engagement are twofold: to achieve social impact and to develop a more diverse talent pipeline.
  3. Developing a strategic, integrated approach across all business functions to corporate social engagement D&I is the biggest challenge — and opportunity.
  4. Employees — at all levels — have a critical role in advancing D&I efforts in corporate social engagement.
  5. Developing a clear and strategic approach to addressing equity in corporate social engagement is challenging on multiple fronts.
  6. There is a need to improve the measurement of D&I in corporate social engagement.

2018 Emissions Gap Report (U.N. Environment) warns that nations must raise the ambition of their national pledges by three times to meet the 2 degrees Celsius target and five times to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target. The report also finds that global CO2 emissions increased in 2017 after remaining steady over three years.

First Steps: Corporate Climate and Environmental Disclosure Under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (Climate Disclosure Standards Board and CDP) examines corporate reporting practices on environmental matters in the first year of reporting under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). Key findings include:

  • 83 percent of companies examined disclose their business model in some shape or form.
  • 99 percent disclose their policy approach to at least one key non-financial aspect.
  • 76 percent disclose the role of environmental or climate change matters in their financing and investments.
  • 79 percent identify at least one climate or environmental risk.
  • Less than half (48 percent) of the sample describe their due diligence processes for climate and environmental risks.
  • Only 13 percent identifies the time horizon associated with an identified climate or environmental risk.
  • 39 percent of all companies disclose Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and only 41 percent disclose GHG emissions targets.

Fourth National Climate Assessment: Impacts, Risks Adaptation in the United States (U.S. Global Change Research Program) details the impacts of climate change on the U.S. economy, public health, infrastructure, food production, ecosystems, water and more. The report projects that the impacts of climate change could lead to annual losses of hundreds of billions of dollars in some economic sectors by the end of the century, which is more than the current GDP of many U.S. states.

Mission Possible: Reaching Net-zero Carbon Emissions from Harder-to-Abate Sectors by Mid-century (Energy Transitions Commission) identifies pathways to fully decarbonize heavy industry and heavy-duty transport sectors, including cement, steel, plastics, trucking, shipping and aviation. The report finds that it would cost the global economy less than 0.5 percent of GDP by mid-century to fully decarbonize these sectors. The report also finds that the most challenging sectors to decarbonize are plastics, cement production and shipping.

Navigator: Now, Next and How for Business (HSBC) explores how 8,500 global companies are navigating the sustainable business opportunity. Key findings from the sustainability portion of the report include:

  • 81 percent of companies say ethical and environmental sustainability is important to them.
  • 83 percent of companies want to be a genuinely ethical or environmentally sustainable company.
  • 17 percent plan to increase their emphasis on their ethical and environmental standards, and this is more true of companies in emerging markets.
  • 31 percent plan to make changes to their supply chains related to sustainability. Improving sustainability outcomes is the highest objective (27 percent) for making supply chain changes, after reducing cost (38 percent) and increasing profits/revenue (36 percent).
  • 85 percent want to achieve a sustainability standard recognized by their sector or market.
  • 84 percent say it’s important to be perceived as ethically or environmentally sustainable.

SDG Reporting Challenge 2018 (PwC) examines over 700 listed companies across 21 countries to better understand how they are integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into business strategy, planning and reporting. Key findings include:

  • 72 percent of companies in the study mention the SDGs; most (60 percent) in their sustainability reports rather than in main financial or integrated reports.
  • 50 percent have identified priority SDGs.
  • Only 28 percent disclose meaningful key performance indicators related to the SDGs.
  • 27 percent of the companies mention the SDGs as part of their business strategy.
  • Just 19 percent of CEO or chair statements in annual reports mention the SDGs.
  • The average score for reporting quality of those companies that had prioritized SDGs was 2.71 out of 5.
  • The broad sectors of Technology, Media & Telecoms, and Energy, Utilities & Mining led other industries examined on mentioning the SDGs in their reporting.

Technology, the Climate Savior? (ING Group) quantifies the impact that technological developments in energy efficiency, electrification and renewables could have on global energy-related CO2 emissions. The report finds that technology has the potential to reduce global energy-related CO2 emissions 64 percent by 2050.

Women in the Workplace 2018 (McKinsey & Co.) provides insight into the state of women in corporate America using data from 279 companies employing more than 13 million people and individual survey responses from more than 64,000 employees. Key findings include:

  • 38 percent of companies analyzed have set targets for gender representation.
  • 12 percent of companies share most gender diversity metrics with their employees.
  • 42 percent of companies hold senior leaders accountable for making progress toward gender parity.
  • Around 50 percent of employees think that their company sees gender diversity as a priority and is doing what it takes to make progress — and 20 percent of employees think their company’s commitment to gender diversity feels like lip service.
  • 55 percent of women in senior leadership, 48 percent of lesbian women and 45 percent of women in technical fields report they’ve been sexually harassed.
  • Around 40 percent of senior-level women and women in technical roles report being the only woman in this role at their company.

Devon Edwards



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