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Mar 14, 2022

Almost 700 financial firms begin letter campaign for CDP data disclosure

Financial institutions with $130 tn in assets writing to more than 10,000 companies demanding more environmental data

Financial institutions including Allianz, Amundi, AXA, BNP Paribas, CalPERS, Capital Group, State Street and Vanguard have today begun a letter-writing campaign calling on companies around the world to report more environmental data through CDP.

The more than 680 firms with $130 tn in assets are writing to around 10,400 company boards around the world requesting that they disclose their data on climate change, deforestation and water security. Companies are being asked to disclose this information through non-profit CDP.

‘Investors have an important role to play in driving corporate transparency and action on environmental issues – we recognize this and have supported CDP’s disclosure request for the last 12 years,’ says Jean-Jacques Barbéris, head of institutional & corporate client coverage and ESG supervisor at Amundi, in a statement. ‘We need this comparable, consistent and clear data for our investment decision-making, our research, our product development, our corporate engagement and our regulatory compliance. It is also vital for us to meet our own climate goals.

‘But – crucially – we don’t just need data on climate. We also need more information on other areas of natural capital, and we must ensure this is incorporated in what companies disclose and take action on going forward.’

CDP says that around 100 more financial firms have added their names to the disclosure request campaign this year, compared with 2021. It adds that last year its campaign logged record disclosure responses: nearly 3,200 companies – out of 7,176 contacted – disclosed their environmental information in response to CDP’s Letter to the Board campaign in 2021.

‘This is in addition to more than 10,100 other companies that disclosed through CDP, either at the request of their business customers through CDP’s Supply Chain program, or of their own volition,’ it says in a statement. ‘This means that, in total, more than 13,000 companies representing around 64 percent of global market capitalization disclosed their data through CDP in 2021.’

The campaign has been running since 2002 and CDP says its aim is to cover 90 percent of the world’s ‘highest-impact firms’ by 2025. This year, 3,300 of the targeted companies are being called upon to disclose the environmental data for the first time.

CDP says that while the number of companies reporting environmental data is increasing every year, many do not disclose enough data on their environmental impact. It adds that almost 4,000 firms that received disclosure requests last year failed to respond.

CDP further notes, however, that with several mandatory environmental disclosure requirements coming in this year – including in the EU, Japan, New Zealand and India, as well as TCFD regulation being introduced in the UK from next month – non-disclosure will no longer be an option for many companies.

‘While many companies are disclosing, setting targets and taking action across their own business operations and value chains, there is a surprisingly large part of the market still to take the vital first step of disclosure,’ notes Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP.

‘These companies are becoming increasingly out of touch with reality and investor and public opinion, not just because of the regulatory stick that is approaching, but also because there are so many proven benefits to transparency. We hope this request, backed by such an influential group of financial institutions worldwide, will hit home and drive transparency and action even further.’

Garnet Roach

An award-winning journalist, Garnet Roach joined IR Magazine in October 2012, working on both the editorial and research sides of the publication. Prior to entering the world of investor relations, her freelance career covered a broad range of...