Companies Disclosing more on Climate Change - But Responses still lack Financially-Relevant Information



    First Climate Disclosure Leadership Index honours 16 Canadian companies

    TORONTO, Oct. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's largest companies have greater
awareness of the business risks and opportunities of climate change, and they
are more responsive to investor requests for information about their carbon
risk strategies compared to one year ago. However, the information being
disclosed is still insufficient to meet investor requirements, according to
the Carbon Disclosure Project 2007: Canada 200 Report, released today by
The Conference Board of Canada.
    The Carbon Disclosure Project 2007 (CDP5) is the world's largest
collaboration of institutional investors. It represents 315 global
investors-including 30 based in Canada-that have an unprecedented $41 trillion
in assets under management. In February, the CDP requested disclosure of
relevant information about climate change and carbon risk management
strategies from 2,400 companies around the world, including the 200 most
valuable companies by market capitalization listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange.
    "Investors have clearly influenced the responsiveness of these companies.
Compared to last year, Canada's largest companies are more aware of the
business risks and opportunities presented by climate change, more likely to
act to manage their greenhouse gas emissions, and more responsive to investor
requests for information," said David Greenall, Principal Research Associate
at the Conference Board, and Canadian CDP coordinator.
    "However, although more companies are responding to investor demands for
information, important financial data continues to be largely absent. A mere
14 per cent of companies provided financially relevant information, such as
the cost of reducing emissions and meeting mandatory emissions reductions
targets."
    According to the Canada 200 Report, 88 per cent of respondents indicated
that climate change presents business risks while 86 per cent see
opportunities. As compared with CDP4, the gap between corporate risk awareness
and use of GHG management systems has narrowed, which suggests that more
companies are taking formal steps to manage their exposure.
    Of the 200 companies that received the CDP5 request, 45 per cent
responded, an increase compared to 28 per cent that answered last year's CDP4
request. More than three-quarters of the top 50 companies responded this year,
which ranks as one of the highest response rates among all CDP regions and
sectors surveyed globally.
    Larger companies and those with higher levels of GHG emissions provided
more complete responses in general, compared to small and mid-capitalization
companies and low GHG emitting companies.

    The Honour Roll of Climate Change Disclosure

    The newest feature of this year's report is the Climate Disclosure
Leadership Index (CDLI), an honour roll of Canadian companies that are
proactively addressing the challenges posed by climate change. Sixteen
companies have been identified as "Climate Disclosure Leaders" on the basis of
the superior quality of their responses to the CDP 5 information request.
    These leading companies have shown distinction in their reporting of
greenhouse gas emissions and assessment of climate change strategies and their
transparency in regards to the effectiveness of programs put in place to
reduce overall emissions.
    The 16 companies identified as Climate Disclosure Leaders are:

    
    High-Carbon-Impact Sector Companies
    -     Alcan Inc.
    -     Suncor Energy
    -     TransAlta Corp.
    -     EnCana Corp.
    -     Enbridge Inc.
    -     Penn West Energy Trust
    -     Emera Inc.
    -     Nexen Inc.
    -     Gaz Metro LP
    -     Talisman Energy
    -     Catalyst Paper Corporation

    Low-Carbon-Impact Sector Companies
    -     RBC Financial
    -     CIBC
    -     BCE Inc.
    -     TELUS Corporation
    -     Alimentation Couche-Tard
    

    The findings will be presented today at the Design Exchange in Toronto
between 9 a.m. and 12 noon. The CDP 2007 - Canada 200 report is publicly
available at www.e-library.ca.

    The CDP 2007 : Canada 200 Report initiative was financially supported by
Deloitte & Touche LLP, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation,
Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board,
Canadian Standards Association, Enbridge Inc., Golder Ecofys Solutions,
NATIONAL Public Relations, Scotiabank, and The Ethical Funds Company.

    About The Carbon Disclosure Project

    The Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit
organisation which was established in 2000 to facilitate dialogue between
companies and investors, supported by quality information, from which a
rational response to climate change will emerge. The Carbon Disclosure Project
is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in New York, with
501(c)3 charitable status. The group of investors is not a legal entity and
the Carbon Disclosure Project has no authority to make any other statement on
behalf of the participants.




For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 448, corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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