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The good news upfront: the majority of companies from the DACH region today recognize the business case for evaluating, reporting and managing issues related to carbon emissions reduction. 69% of all 184 responding companies have received a CDP Carbon Disclosure Score above 50 in 2012, meaning they not only provide more than half of the data required to manage climate change, but also enough information to be judged on their actual climate protection performance (CDP Carbon Performance Band).

Findings across the various disclosure categories of questions provided some interesting insights into areas of further improvement, which may help companies in the following year with their carbon reduction programmes and more accurate reporting.

Governance and Strategy

83 % of DACH companies include executive oversight into their climate management and while a 44% of respondents indicate the use of incentives for management, only 32% provide detailed explanations about any types of incentive programmes in use.  Likewise, 73% of respondents indicate integrating climate change into their overall strategy planning with only 22%, providing sufficient details surrounding these initiatives to gain maximum performance points on this question. Maximum points are achieved in governance and strategy with not only executive oversight and incentive programs but with providing details for climate mitigation procedures and sustainable research management.

 

Risk and Opportunities

Risk and opportunities pose a greater challenge for respondents than many other categories of questions.   As there are significant points available for these questions, respondents should be diligent to provide a full assessment of their risks or opportunities by identifying the specific plans, projects, or actions related to the risk or opportunity identified.

Emissions management and reporting

The majority of DACH respondents did an excellent job completing the questions regarding Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, (74% &75%, respectively).  And results were nearly as good (62%) for Scope 3 emissions (with 62% describing at least one source of Scope 3 emissions and 52% providing complete information/gaining full disclosure scores on at least one type of Scope 3 emission).  This positively affected the disclosure scoring.  Disclosure scoring was generally weaker for the reporting of emissions by geography, businesses, or other breakout categories, which had a negative effect on the scores.

Many companies did not disclose any carbon emissions reduction targets (27% reported only absolute targets, 45% reported only intensity targets and 28% reported a mix on intensity and absolute targets).This was an area of weakness for DACH respondents in 2012 and a key area for improvement in 2013.

Stakeholder Engagement and Verification

A number of issues are included in this category, not the least of which is whether companies publish their climate change policies and performance.  DACH respondents scored well with over 58% publishing their policies or performance in mainstream filings or other external communications.  Respondents scored less favorably on external verification of emissions data.  Verification is an important part of Stakeholder Engagement as it provides the added assurance that reported emissions are accurate.  As such, there are significant points available for emission verification.  Verification proves challenging for many respondents yet 64% DACH companies provided verified data for Scope 1 and/or Scope 2 matching all verification criteria, providing valuable insight for investment communities.

Summary

In 2012 DACH companies are demonstrating the value of sustainable research management as well as the strategic importance of addressing the effects of climate change in corporate planning.  With over 69% of the companies receiving a performance band, the DACH region has proven to score well in 2012.

As the scoring partner for CDP’s Nordic and DACH regions in 2012, FirstCarbon Solutions has a unique perspective on how to maximize CDP performance. In addition, FirstCarbon Solutions is available to assist companies in reducing their carbon footprint by improving their carbon monitoring and reduction programs, and can tailor-make solutions to allow companies to work at their individual pace, including:

 

Did you enjoy this post? The author of this article is Matthew Squires. Learn more about him here.

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