Big firms ‘increasingly focused’ on cutting emissions

A majority of big businesses are “increasingly focused” on reducing carbon emissions. A global survey of more than 100 executives revealed three quarters of them already benchmark against industry average […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A majority of big businesses are “increasingly focused” on reducing carbon emissions.

A global survey of more than 100 executives revealed three quarters of them already benchmark against industry average emissions, with a further 75% investing in low carbon technologies.

Around 60% also said they are making a renewable energy commitment, with the strategy most common among large organisations with revenues of more than $10 billion (£6.6bn).

The research from EY also found more than half (54%) of business leaders believe carbon pricing is the most effective way to cut emissions.

Those in Europe (64%) and emerging markets (59%) are more in favour of putting a price on carbon compared to companies in the US (18%).

Around 81% believe the policy would have a positive impact on investment in green growth opportunities within their business while a quarter said it would have a negative impact on overall emissions for their organisation.

More than a quarter (27%) of respondents added it would have a negative impact on the appetite for investment in their country.

Juan Costa Climent, EY Global Leader, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, said: “Carbon pricing is a topic that divides opinion within the business community and highlights a particularly deep difference in regional thinking. While many large scale businesses recognise that carbon pricing can cut emissions, many are calling for harmonised, reliable and transparent methods that can be implemented with rigor and discipline.”

Around 55% of executives are confident COP21 will lead to a “fair and reliable” carbon pricing scheme while 45% disagree. However a majority of them believe it will primarily be up to national governments to lead the fight on climate change.

Last week heads of state from six countries as well as the World Bank President joined forces to urge other nations and businesses to put a price on carbon pollution at COP21.