Consumers may feel inundated by advertisements from companies eager to appear environmentally friendly, but for all of the green talk, many businesses aren’t actually taking global warming very seriously. At least, that appears to be the message sent by new figures cited by ClimateBiz showing that U.S. business emissions are growing, not slowing down.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has revealed an annual increase in greenhouse gas emissions by the S&P 100, America’s top companies, totalling 0.36 percent. That puts them far off track in meeting President Obama’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020, which requires a reduction of 1.05 percent per year until then.
"These trends identified by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) show business needs to take more active measures to reduce emissions, especially as the economy improves, we can expect to see more significant increase in emissions," CDP CEO Paul Dickinson told GreenBiz.com.
The utilities and industrials sectors are responsible for the bulk of the increase, bringing down the average for S&P 100 companies with better records. Two other sectors that also contribute a hefty percentage of total emissions — energy and materials — did slightly better.
If U.S. businesses continue on this track, not only will they not meet the 2020 goal, they’ll actually increase emissions by 3.66 percent compared to 2009 levels.
These companies may find it difficult to get started, but if they put forth the effort to reduce corporate emissions, they’ll benefit financially, ClimateBiz notes. Green building, renewable energy and even services like virtual meeting software are poised to blossom economically in industries that have long been known for lucrative but environmentally harmful products and practices.