South African mining firms among top carbon disclosure leaders

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    JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South African mining firms Anglo American and its 80%-owned subisdiary Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) are included in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) which forms part of the UK-based Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP’s) ‘Global 500 Climate Change Report’ released this week.

    Johannesburg- and London-listed Anglo American was also included in the Carbon Performance Leadership Index.

    A further 13 South African companies were included in the Global 500 report, with 12 participating in the CDP this year. “To qualify, a company would need to be amongst the 500 largest companies by market capitalisation included in the FTSE Global Equity Index Series; therefore, to have 13 South African companies included in this group is an impressive number,” said National Business Initiative programme manager for climate change and water Steve Nicholls.

    The CDP report features emissions data from 379 companies and rates them according to their climate change transparency, with the best disclosers entering the CDLI. CDP then assesses companies according to the scale and quality of their emissions reductions and strategies, and ranks these according to performance bands.

    Meanwhile, the CDP report has found that increasing incidents of extreme weather events, which disrupted business operations and supply chains around the world, have caused climate change to climb the boardroom agenda. With the hottest US summer on record, fires in Russia and flooding in the UK, Japan and Thailand, among other events, 81% of reporting companies now identify physical risk from climate change, with 37% perceiving these risks as a real and present danger, up from 10% in 2010.

    This year has seen a 10% year-on-year increase in companies integrating climate change into their business strategies (2012: 78%, 2011: 68%), contributing to a 13.8% reduction in reported corporate greenhouse-gas emissions, from 3.6-billion tons in 2009, as the financial slowdown began to take hold, to 3.1-billion tons in 2012.

    The fall is equivalent to closing 227 gas-fired power stations or taking 138-million cars off the road. A third of companies (31%) however reported no emission reductions at all.

    CDP CEO Paul Simpson noted in a statement that extreme weather events were causing significant financial damage to markets. “Investors, therefore, expect corporations to think more about climate resilience. There are still leaders and laggards but the economic driver for action is growing, as are the number of investors requesting emissions data. Governments seeking to build strong economies should take note,” he noted.

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