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Less than 15% of the Global Companies Reduced Carbon Emissions Over the Past Five Years

November 29, 2023

Despite climate concerns, companies have not made a lot of progress in comprehensively measuring and reducing their emissions over the past year, according to a study by CO2 AI and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) which has been released ahead of COP28.

The study reports that just 10% of companies report comprehensively measuring all their emissions, revealing no improvement relative to the 2022 survey.

Meanwhile, only 14% of companies report reducing emissions in line with their ambitions over the past five years, down 3 pp from 2022. The reasoning is difficult economic conditions and capital constraints as challenges to their reduction efforts. 

Titled Why Some Companies Are Ahead in the Race to Net Zero, the study builds on CO2 AI and BCG’s 2021 and 2022 into the progress that businesses around the world have made on emissions measurement and reduction.

CO2 AI and BCG surveyed 1,850 executives responsible for emissions measurement, reporting, and reduction in their organisations across 18 major industries and 23 countries, they said in a statement.

Each organisation surveyed had at least 1,000 employees and annual revenues ranging from $100 million to over $10 billion.

The report said that company that have made decarbonisation progress are realising both financial and non-financial benefits to their business, citing reputational value, lower operating costs, and regulatory compliance among the top benefits.

“When asked to quantify, 40% of respondents estimate an annual financial benefit of at least $100 million from meeting emissions reduction targets, a 3 pp increase compared with last year’s survey,” the companies said in the statement.

“In the GCC, the advancement and expansion of artificial intelligence and technology in addressing climate sustainability are drawing international attention and reinforcing the region’s commitment,”said Robert Xu, Managing Director and Partner at BCG.

“The strategic investment in AI-driven solutions is revolutionising resource management and carbon emission reduction, showcasing innovative approaches to environmental stewardship,” explained Xu.

The report said that companies that report reducing their emissions in line with their ambitions were found to display four notable traits more strongly, which includes: collaborating with suppliers and customers on emissions measurement and reduction,calculating emissions at the product level, harnessing the power of digital technology in the emissions-management process and viewing regulations positively.

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