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Study: top companies are misreporting their climate change progress

Study: top companies are misreporting their climate change progress

A new study by New Climate Institute has reported that many top global enterprises are failing to meet their own targets on fighting climate change and are regularly misreporting and exaggerating their progress instead.

The report, in which more than 25 global corporations were studied, alleges that even prominent forms such as Google, Apple, Ikea, Nestle, and Amazon are among those that have failed to change quickly enough.

The companies investigated in the study account for more than 5% of world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, which means that while having a huge carbon footprint, they still have significant potential in leading the effort to control climate change.

However, the study found that the rapid acceleration of climate pledges undertaken by corporations and their fragmented approach has made it more difficult to differentiate real and unsubstantiated climate leadership.

Thomas Day, the author of the study, stated that his team initially wanted to discover the corporate world’s good practices, but were ‘frankly’ surprised and disappointed on finding out the integrity of their claims.

Nestle commented that while it welcomes scrutiny on its actions and commitments regarding climate change, the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor (CCRM) report by New Climate Institute lacks understanding of the group’s approach and also contains substantial inaccuracies.

The CCRM, conducted by New Climate Institute and Carbon Market Watch, analyzed various firms’ publicly stated strategies on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and reaching net-zero, a target that scientists have said the world must reach by 2050 to control rising global temperatures.

The study supposedly assigned each company an ‘integrity’ rating. In its assessment, it discovered that that while some firms were doing relatively well when it came to reducing emissions, almost all the corporations could do better and had scope for improvement. None of the study subjects were given a ‘high integrity’ rating.

The study assessed factors such as disclosing emissions annually, providing a thorough breakdown of the sources of emission, and disclosing the information in a manner that was understandable.

Day claimed that there is a wide gap between the reality and what companies say. Adding that this may lead to customers having difficulty in determining the truth.  

Corporations have been facing immense pressure to cut their environmental impact as consumers are demanding more green products.

Only three companies out of the total were found to be committed to removing 90% of its carbon emissions- Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, and Maersk.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.