Investor-backed CDP teams up with WWF and McKinsey in US carbon reduction push

Emphasis on cost savings and “science-based” actions

The CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), which acts on behalf of 722 institutional investors with assets of $87trn, has teamed up with campaign group the World Wildlife Fund (as it is known in the US) and consultants McKinsey to persuade US companies of the business benefits of cutting carbon emissions.

They’ve released a detailed report called The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reductions to back up their efforts as well as an online Carbon Target and Profit Calculator – guidance for firms to set emission reduction goals and “claim their share of the savings”.

Also offered is the Carbon Productivity Portfolio, a set of five actions derived from leading firms’ experiences.

Cutting emissions “opens new possibilities and will help release latent cost-savings potential in your organization. At the same time, you’ll be showing that science-based corporate ambition makes basic business sense,” says WWF-US’s Chief Operations Officer Marcia Marsh in the foreword to the report.

The groups point to the advances leading international companies have made in addressing climate change.Setting climate change targets meant they “pushed themselves to look harder at energy waste and found money lying on their factory floors”.

“Science-based corporate ambition makes basic business sense”

The report claims that US companies can save $780bn over 10 years if they cut emissions by 3% a year and that 80% of S&P 500 companies who report via the CDP see bigger financial returns on their carbon reduction investments than their overall capital investments.

The report is endorsed by companies including Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola, DuPont, Volvo and Johnson & Johnson.

Earlier this month the CDP signed an agreement with the Italian government to collaborate to drive action to promote sustainable growth and protect the natural environment.