Major corporations increasingly recognize both the threats and opportunities associated with global climate change, according to the CDP S&P 500 Climate Change Report 2013. The comprehensive annual report is compiled by CDP, an international nonprofit organization that evaluates the efforts by companies globally in disclosing and mitigating their carbon emissions impact. 

This year, nearly all of the 334 Standard & Poor’s 500 companies responding to the report disclosed their direct and indirect carbon emission footprints, and 75 percent of respondents disclosed associated targets for reducing carbon emissions. Out of those companies, 36 companies, among them DuPont Co., Principal Financial Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co., were recognized in the Climate Performance Leadership Index. The index recognizes companies that achieve CDP’s highest “A band” rating for measuring, verifying and managing carbon footprints. 

Not surprisingly, companies in the energy and utilities sectors contributed to the majority of the direct impact in carbon emissions in the past year, accounting for 81 percent of reduced emissions. However, companies in the materials, consumer staples and consumer discretionary sectors led in indirect carbon emissions reductions achieved, according to the report. 

“American companies protecting themselves against climate risks and preparing to capitalize on the opportunities a changing climate presents are building competitive advantage,” said Tom Carnac, president for CDP in North America. “Increasingly we are seeing that taking action to address climate change is good for business. I am very pleased to see more U.S. companies recognized in the CPLI than ever before.” 

The S&P 500 report, including names of companies featured in the Climate Performance Leadership Index, can be found at