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Accountability of Corporates on Climate Action in Question

Climate Change

22 Indian companies have been accused of not revealing the full extent of their impact on the climate crisis, water shortages and deforestation by an alliance of global investors. CDP, an environmental disclosure campaign platform, on behalf of 88 investors with a combined asset of over $10 trillion has written to 707 multinationals, spread across 13 sectors in 46 countries to disclose environmental impact information.

The non-profit has claimed that many of the companies in the list do not use standardised environment data in their sustainability reports which prohibits any form of comparison. The Indian companies that have been accused include Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, ITC and Coal India.

The companies are required to respond by July 31 by filling up an open questionnaire developed by CDP.

Of the 22 Indian companies, 21 have been asked to provide details of their impact on climate change. Two companies — ITC and retail firm Avenue Supermarts — have been asked to give information on deforestation. And just one company — Reliance Industries — has been asked to provide information on water security status. Few companies have been asked to give details on more than one environmental aspect.

The most targeted industry for climate change disclosure is the services industry (27 per cent of all companies), followed by manufacturing (18 per cent) and fossil fuels (12 per cent) in the year 2019.

For water security, the most targeted industries are manufacturing (26 per cent), retail (23 per cent) and fossil fuels (11 per cent), while for deforestation it is retail (30 per cent), food, beverage and agriculture (26 per cent) and manufacturing (16 per cent).

Overall, the US is home to most companies being targeted in the campaign (20 per cent) closely followed by Australia (16 per cent). Three per cent of these companies are in India.

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The CSR Journal Team