Shareholder Advocates Now Equipped With First Independent "Climate Risk Profiles"
For More Than 150 Top Companies Facing 2009 Proxy Resolutions
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Uses Environmental Data Firm Trucost to Create Unique Platform to Inform Investors, Clear Away Confusion Created by Corporate “Greenwashing,” and Generate More Pressure to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
NEW YORK CITY & LONDON///February 5, 2009///Shareholder advocates and other investors will no longer have to rely solely on claims by leading publicly traded companies when it comes to determining exposure to risks associated with high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change.
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of nearly 300 faith-based institutional investors representing over $100 billion in invested capital announced today that they have used data from Trucost, an independent environmental data company with offices in London, New York, and Boston, to compile independent “climate risk profiles” on more than 150 corporations– from Abbott Laboratories to Yum! Brands – that are the subjects of 2009 shareholder resolutions filed by faith-based investors, public pension funds and other responsible investors. The shareholder resolutions cover a wide range of issues, including climate change, and were filed with companies in all sectors of the economy.
The climate change indicators for the companies were developed using data from Trucost, which maintains the world’s largest record of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as over 700 environmental indicators including water use, waste disposal and pollutants that cause smog and acid rain.
Each of the “climate risk profiles” takes into account whether or not a company discloses the greenhouse gas emissions from its operations and the percentage of the company’s deviation in GHG emissions from the sector average compared to its closest industry peers. For companies that do not disclose GHG emissions, Trucost calculates their emissions based on its research and methodology.
Examples of the top and bottom performers in three sectors are highlighted below:
Chemicals - Chemtura Corp. (top) and Dow Chemical Company (bottom).
Financial Services - Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (top) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (bottom).
Technology - Google Inc. (top) and Intel Corporation (bottom).
The basic “climate risk profile” provides information on more than 150 companies and is available online at http://www.iccr.org/shareholder/trucost/index.php. An example of the more detailed climate risk reports, featuring Abbott Laboratories, is available at http://www.onlineethicalinvestor.org/eidb/slide0.html.
Dr. James Salo, vice president of Strategy and Research, Trucost, said: “We are very excited to launch these climate risk profiles with the ICCR based on Trucost’s leading environmental research. The profiles provide an essential starting point for investors to learn about the climate risks and opportunities that exist within their portfolios.”
Leslie Lowe, director, Energy and the Environment program, ICCR, said: “We believe that every company has an obligation to reduce its GHG emissions and the risk they pose to investors, society and the Creation. ICCR’S goals in publishing the climate risk profiles are to: increase awareness among institutional and individual investors of climate risk in their portfolios and identify companies that are “best in sector” and the available options for investors to reduce their carbon exposure without changing sector diversification strategies. We also hope to provide an empirical basis for assessing corporate efforts to reduce climate risk and to end ‘greenwashing’ about global warming. Investors need greater transparency from corporations about their GHG footprint and what they are doing to reduce climate risk and to enhance investor value by becoming cleaner and greener. Identifying companies that lag their sector peers may generate pressure on those companies from investors, consumers and policy makers to reduce GHG emissions.”
Laura Berry, executive director, ICCR, said: “As institutional investors representing faith-based organizations, ICCR’s members have consistently been at the vanguard of the corporate social responsibility movement. For nearly 40 years, ICCR members have worked to transform the corporate world. By identifying areas where changes in corporate behavior are necessary, ICCR works with partners like Trucost to develop practical approaches to monitor improvement. These tools can be used to demonstrate that progress is -- or is not -- being made. By holding corporations accountable through sophisticated yet easy-to-use tools such as these climate risk profiles based on Trucost data, ICCR members continue to make significant contributions to global justice and sustainability."
ABOUT THE GROUPS
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (http://www.iccr.org) is a coalition of nearly 300 faith-based institutional investors representing over $100 billion in invested capital. ICCR members bridge the divide between morality and markets by envisioning a civic economy that integrates ethical, environmental and social values. Inspired by faith, committed to action, ICCR members work to build a just and sustainable global community.
Trucost is a world-leading environmental data company which helps investors, fund managers and analysts understand how environmental performance could affect companies' future earnings. Trucost tracks data on the environmental impacts of over 4,500 companies. Since being founded as an independent organization in 2000, Trucost has monitored over 700 environmental indicators covering the use of resources such as water, as well as waste production and pollutants such as mercury.
Coverage includes the FTSE All-Share, S&P 500, Russell 1000, Nikkei 225, DJ STOXX 600, MSCI World Developed, MSCI Europe, MSCI Asia ex-Japan and ASX 200 indices. Institutional investors use the information to assess the carbon or environmental footprints of their portfolios, to identify differences in performance, to address environmental risks and create structured products with lower carbon or environmental impacts. For further information please visit http://www.trucost.com.
CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of the news event is now available.