A new survey by the Ethos Foundation and Raiffeisen Switzerland shows that 39 of the 100 largest listed companies in Switzerland have set concrete objectives to reduce CO2 emissions or are about to do so. 58 of the 100 companies contacted participated in the survey, 60% of which agreed to have the information they provided made public.

The survey was conducted in the framework of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) - the largest international group of investors engaged in this field. For the first time, the survey analyses the nature of the targets and finds that 11 companies have set ambitious CO2 reduction targets.

Ethos and Raiffeisen jointly conducted a survey among the hundred largest listed companies in Switzerland to find out about their climate change strategy. The CDP survey was conducted in Switzerland for the fourth time running. The participation rate of 58 companies out of 100 remained in line with that of previous years – a response rate of 56 in 2009 and 57 in 2008. This shows that a majority of companies take the consequences of climate change into account as part of their business strategy.

Industry Catches Up

In addition to the 42 companies which did not participate in the survey, 23 of those who did respond declined public access to their data. Moreover, only few companies publish and calculate greenhouse gas emissions throughout the value chain, i.e. from procurement to production and to the use of goods and services. Transparency has improved among industrial and healthcare companies, which are catching up with the financial sector, regularly given good marks for transparency. In particular, the Berner Kantonalbank, Nestlé and UBS have made progress this year and achieved positive results in terms of transparency.

11 Companies Set Ambitious CO2 Reduction Targets

The report of the 2010 CDP survey also innovates by analysing for the first time the objectives set by companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 31 of participating companies have actually set reduction targets and 8 further firms intend to do so in the near future. In particular, the companies ABB, Clariant, Geberit, Holcim, Lonza, Nestlé, Novartis, SGS and Swisscom have committed themselves to meet bold CO2 reduction objectives and made these public.

Remarkably, the analysis of reduction objectives shows that none of the companies in the financial sector have adequate reduction targets. This is due to the fact that banks and insurance companies are primarily concerned with reducing CO2 emissions from their own businesses. Contrary to companies in other sectors, they do not take into account greenhouse gas emissions from the activities and projects which they finance.

Carbon Disclosure Project: More and More Investors Concerned by Climate Change

With 534 shareholders in 2010, CDP is the largest group of institutional investors worldwide, with assets under management of over USD 64,000 billion – 9,000 billion dollars more than the previous year. The CDP regularly surveys listed companies all over the world to find out about their climate change strategy. Given that this may have a significant impact on the risks and opportunities of a company's business, the information disclosed by companies in this respect may support investment decisions.