In the recently released 2011 Standard & Poor’s 500 report, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent non-profit organization with the world’s largest corporate climate change and water information database, found that for the first time over 50 percent of S&P 500 companies integrate climate change policy into their core business decisions and strategy. The number of companies adopting such policies has risen 30 percent in one year, from 35% in 2010 to 65%.
Within the report, companies announced such green projects as: increasing energy efficient facilities; improving business processes and transportation networks; encouraging sustainable behavior from employees; and providing financial incentives for embracing and managing climate change issues.
The report even set out to debunk a few energy efficiency myths. In the past, companies have sighted lengthy investment return rates as excuses for not increasing green practices, but 60 percent of the reported projects have now seen payback in three years or less. These quick investment returns, along with investor pressure, shaky fuel prices, and new revenue opportunities, are the driving forces behind this year’s increased statistics.
Despite recent difficulties getting the general population to fully back energy efficient projects, this report reflects restored confidence in the importance of sustainability efforts led by the world’s largest companies—proving that carbon emissions aren’t just hurtful to the environment, they can be hurtful to investment portfolios as well.