The world’s 500 largest businesses (Global 500) are beginning to grow their businesses and manage their emissions at a rate that follows the global scientific consensus on the risks of climate change, according to Thomson Reuters’ latest Global 500 Greenhouse Gas Performance 2010-2015: 2016 Report on Trends.
This is a change from previously tracked data and a sign of progress.
These businesses currently represent roughly 28% of the world’s GDP and collectively emitted 10% of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions over the last five years. Key findings in this report indicate a decoupling between economic performance and emissions output.
Revenues for the Global 500 grew roughly 5% over a four-year period, while emissions increased by 1% which is a step forward to sustainable business growth.
“Our latest report indicates that we are seeing a positive trend across the Global 500 to limit their GHG emissions consistent with recommendations from the international scientific community,” says Tim Nixon, Managing Editor of Sustainability at Thomson Reuters and co-author for the report.
“Following COP21 last year, sustainable business growth has become a top priority and focal point for many organizations. Limiting environmental impact is no longer just about doing the ‘right’ thing. Organizations recognize sustainable business growth is central to mitigating risk and driving top and bottom line performance.”
Data was gathered from self-reported GHG emissions data from businesses and from estimates pulled from Thomson Reuters ESG research data– a provider of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) data.
John Moorhead, Head of the Climate Change Practice at BSD, commented, “We did find promising the trend on lower emissions growth versus revenue growth for the Global 500 as a whole, however many of the largest emitters have yet to show this kind of decoupling.
“Although the gap with a 2 degree pathway for the Global 500 has decreased to 6.6% of total emissions the gap still remains significant. Carbon pricing, innovation (in technology and business models) and responsible investment are the keys to closing this gap.”