Global 500 Companies Use Energy Efficiency and Renewables to Combat Carbon Emissions

The Carbon Disclosure Project, which acts as a secretariat for a collaboration of over 385 institutional investors with over $57 trillion in assets under management, launched its sixth annual report based on the responses from the 500 largest global companies.

The report revealed that Global 500 companies are recognizing the role that energy efficiency and renewables can play in lowering carbon emissions.

The sixth annual report provides details on the actions that Global 500 companies are taking to combat climate change. Respondents stated that energy efficiency is proving to be one of the most cost-effective abatement options to meet long term emission reductions. Commenting on their energy reduction strategy, Dow Chemical replied that "over a 12-year period, Dow saved more than $7 billion and conserved more than 1,400 trillion BTUs and mitigated approximately 70 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases."

While efficiency measures have been primarily driven by rising commodity prices, some companies stated that they have (or are planning) significant campaigns to look at the energy and carbon content of products.

The average proportion of renewable energy purchased by respondents was 8% of total consumption for carbon-intensive companies and 12% for non-carbon-intensive companies. The Financial Services sector appears to be purchasing the largest amount of renewable energy, with an average of 20% of consumption coming from renewable sources. "From 1 October 2007 all contracted electricity for our properties in the UK and Ireland have come from renewable sources," responded the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Paul Dickson, CDP's CEO noted that the "CDP responses demonstrate that an increasing number of companies are quantifying savings from energy management plans or energy efficiency initiatives. The move by leading companies towards greater use of renewables is important in preparing for the transition to the low carbon economy".

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) is one of several funders for the CDP6 Global 500 Report. "This year's report shows that more companies are implementing and financially benefitting from carbon abatement strategies that incorporate an element of energy efficiency or renewable energy," commented Dr. Marianne Osterkorn, REEEP's International Director.

The report is crucial to the continued transparency and motivation of the world's largest publicly traded companies to lower carbon emissions.

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