One day before the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day, indications are that many of America’s public companies may not be doing all they can for the environment.
A report released on April 21 by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) showed that rather than reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in the U.S. the level has actually been increasing slightly. President Obama has targeted an annual reduction of 1.05% in greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve an absolute reduction in emissions of 17% by 2020, measured against a 2005 baseline. Rather than moving toward that goal, the CDP study of information collected from S&P 100 companies for the years 2007-2009 found that greenhouse gas emissions will, at their current trajectory, produce a 3.66% absolute increase in emissions by 2020, relative to 2009 levels. While some sectors have reduced their emissions over the past three years, total emissions reported to CDP from S&P 100 companies increased at a rate of 0.36% and as the economy recovers, growth in absolute emissions is likely to increase further.