Renewables helping build momentum in environmental stewardship

Britain’s largest companies are increasingly embracing renewable energy as part of the “clear momentum” now building around they manage their environmental stewardship, according to a new report.

Sustainability consultancy Carbon Clear studied the performance of companies listed on the London, Madrid and Paris stock exchanges.

The report found rising levels of renewable energy take-up by major companies, with 66% of the FTSE100 companies now using it.

Some 75% of firms see climate change as a business opportunity, a similar percentage to those that see it as a risk.

More than double the number of FTSE 100 companies now also assess supply chain risk compared to 2016.

Mark Chadwick, Chief Executive of Carbon Clear. said: “There has been a clear increase in momentum over the past year in how companies manage their environmental stewardship responsibilities. Mostly, this is driven by market factors, specifically in the cost of renewable energy generation and the widespread adoption of renewables as a technology of choice by communities, businesses, regions and countries.

Marks & Spencer leads UK

The annual report has now been produced for seven years, adding Spain’s main share index last year and France’s top tier this year.

“There’s been clear momentum over the past year in how companies manage their environmental stewardship responsibilities,” Carbon Clear said.

“The sustainability reporting performance of the FTSE 100, IBEX 35 and CAC 40 highlights those companies that are leading the way.”

Marks & Spencer not only topped the UK rankings but also returned the highest score across the three indices at 90%.

“Consumer preference and market factors such as the cost of renewables are important drivers in the UK,” the report said.

M&S was followed by telecoms firm BT in second spot and consumer goods giant Unilever and B&Q-owner Kingfisher in joint third place.

Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy firm Acciona topped Madrid’s chart, followed by O2-owner Telefonica in second and ScottishPower-owner Iberdrola and infrastructure giant Ferrovial in joint-third.

France’s rankings were led by Schneider Electric, followed by Unibail Rodamco and Solvay in joint-second and Veolia in third.

‘Disservice’ to shareholders by not reporting

The number of FTSE 100 companies reporting on their exposure to climate change as a risk increased from 13 to 39.

Mark Chadwick, Chief Executive at Carbon Clear, said: “The FTSE 100 features some of the world’s most innovative and progressive companies in terms of addressing the challenges of climate change.

“However, the majority are doing their shareholders a disservice by not reporting its risks.

“More needs to be done and companies across the UK should be committing themselves to ever more robust sustainability strategies that can help to future proof and protect their businesses.”

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Renewable energy in the supply chain

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