Around 20% of the world’s biggest stock market-listed companies have strategies in place to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report.

Thomson Reuters studied the 250 largest listed businesses, which together account for one-third of global emissions.

The report found that the combined emissions from the companies was flat over the past three years, but that the figure should have been falling by 3% each year in order to hit the Paris agreement targets.

Tim Nixon, Head of Sustainability Thought Leadership at Thomson Reuters and co-author for the report, said: “This delay in reduction will increase the cost and complexity of the required transformations in the future, and decreases the probability of meeting targets required for limiting disruptive climate events.”

Carbon reduction is boosting revenues

The report said that a “meaningful number” of the 20% of companies with strategies in place were generating “real business value through cost structure improvements and new revenue growth opportunities, as well as risk mitigation”.

David Craig, President of Financial and Risk at Thomson Reuters, added: “Firms that are transitioning to lower-carbon business models are building competitive advantage and reputational equity for the long-term.

“Sustainability considerations in corporate strategic planning will be increasingly important to global economic prosperity and increasingly important to investors who are looking for this leadership.”

> Download the report