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More profit = less carbon says index

LONDON: Results from a new survey suggest companies that demonstrate climate change leadership are outperforming Bloomberg's World Index by 9.6 percent.

The sustainability-focused Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) claims 187 companies on its latest Climate Performance Leadership Index - from Apple to Zurich Insurance – are proving a low carbon future doesn't mean low profit.

Transport-related companies that made the latest list include Canadian National Railways, CSX, Deutsche Bahn, Finnair, Munich airport, Mitsui OSK Lines and Thales.

Companies that refused to provide data to CDP include Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon.com and Comcast Corporation.

finnairProduced at the request of 767 investors who represent more than a third of the world's invested capital, information from nearly 2,000 public corporations has resulted in an "A List" of out-performers who represent nine percent of the total list but US$23 billion of the US$50 billion in annual investment in carbon emission reduction.

The 187 businesses include BMW, Centrica, Samsung Electronics and Unilever who, according to the CDP, "have demonstrated a superior approach to climate change mitigation [by] reducing their total emissions by 33 million tonnes in the past reporting year - equivalent to turning London's car owners into cyclists for two and a half years".

CDP cites electric utility company Iberdrola that has invested US$3.8 billion in energy monitoring and distributions systems to cut its annual emissions by 50,000 tonnes; General Motors that has reduced supply chain costs by US$287 million and a yearly carbon output by 244,000 tonnes by route optimisation and switching from road to rail; and Spanish industrial technology firm Abengoa that saves US$911 million annually with two solar power plants.

Paul Simpson, chief executive officer of CDP noted: "The bottom line is at risk from the climate crisis. The unprecedented environmental challenges that we confront today are also economic problems. This irrefutable fact is filtering through to companies and investors. The businesses that have made it onto our first ever global list of climate performance leaders are to be congratulated for their progress; they debunk economic arguments against reducing emissions."

The CDP says almost half of the performance index leaders are based in Europe, with a further third located in the U.S. or Japan. More than a quarter of the Spanish and Belgian companies that took part were awarded an "A" on the index, proportionally giving Spain and Belgium the most leaders – a result echoed by Portugal, the Netherlands and South Korea.

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