Carbon reporting on the rise in India
The quality of reporting is up as well as the quantity, project sponsor WWF-India noted at the release of the India Carbon Disclosure Project Report 2008. (CDP-India 2008)
“The report demonstrates a positive and proactive attitude among the Indian companies towards addressing the challenges of climate change,” said Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India.
“It shows an encouraging trend that companies are not only aware of the various threats and risks presented by climate change, but are also becoming increasingly sensitive towards its commercial and financial opportunities.”
Among companies reporting for the first time are HPCL, the Fortune 500 oil refining & marketing business; the State Bank of India; Tata Power, India’s largest private sector electricity generating company; Tata Motors, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial vehicles; Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest SUV maker; and major cement maker Ambuja Cements.
The disclosure process was carried out by WWF-India in partnership with The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development. The Global CDP project represents 385 institutional investors with around $US 57 trillion in funds under management who view corporate responses to the climate challenge as a significant investment variable.
But while reporting by Indian companies is up from 37 in 2007 to 51 and includes some of the country’s leading and highest climate impact companies, overall reporting remains low. CDP invited some 200 companies to participate and of 61 respondents, 10 refused.
The sectors with the highest response rates were Household & Personal Products (43% of the companies contacted in the sector responded), Materials (41%) and Banks and Diversified Financials (39%), with the worst being telecommunications and consumer durables and clothing companies.
Some 80% of the companies saw existing regulatory mechanisms not as a risk but rather as an opportunity for triggering long term investment in energy efficient technologies. However, these companies do acknowledge that in future, the regulations may affect their businesses.
Three quarters of the organizations have either taken up or have planned to manage or mitigate risks due to climate change by formulating relevant policies, changing operations, design and consumption patterns as well as strengthening supply chains and shifting to cleaner fuels. However the report noted a “significantly low or almost negligible (3.4%) use of energy purchased or generated from renewable sources” and said Indian corporate use of renewable energy was “quite poor” compared to multinational companies
Around 40% of the companies acknowledge physical risks such as damage, disruption and displacement resulting due to climate change as major challenges that could result in financial losses.