Number of Carbon Pricers Triples

Four-hundred thirty-seven companies are now pricing their greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 150 in 2014.
Katie Kuehner-HebertSeptember 22, 2015
Number of Carbon Pricers Triples

The number of companies that are “pricing” their carbon emissions has tripled over the past year, as more companies include the expense of complying with regulations and other related costs into their budgeting and strategic planning processes, according to CDP.

A London-based nonprofit that gathers environmental data on behalf of investors, CDP on Monday released the numbers in its report, “Putting a price on risk: Carbon pricing in the corporate world. The report said 437 companies are now pricing their greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 150 in 2014. An additional 583 companies say they plan to use an internal carbon price within the next two years.

An internal price on carbon — where a price is applied to each metric ton of carbon dioxide — is used as a planning tool by businesses, according to the report. Corporations chose to use the prices applied — ranging from $1 per metric ton to $357 per metric ton — as part of their efforts to mitigate risk from current or potential regulation; drive investments in clean energy purchases or other greenhouse gas reduction activities; and to prioritize energy efficiency.

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Major multinationals including Allergan, Campbell’s Soup, Colgate-Palmolive, Stanley Black & Decker, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Nestle, Microsoft, and Nissan are among the companies that now price their carbon emissions.

“The world’s biggest corporations anticipate a future in which their carbon emissions carry a price,” Lance Pierce, president for CDP North America, said in a press release. “The disclosures to CDP detail how and why companies are pricing their own carbon pollution now to help build competitive advantage for the future.”

In Asia, over ten times as many corporations disclosed they put an internal price on their carbon emissions this year — 93 in total, up from 8 in 2014 – pointing to the influence of China’s expected carbon trading scheme and the new carbon market in South Korea, according to the report.

Companies are preparing for a “carbon-constrained future by building prudent buffers into their businesses today,” the authors wrote.

“Contrary to conventional belief, companies would welcome regulatory certainty and are planning for mandatory emissions limits in the future,” said Paula DiPerna, special adviser to CDP and a carbon-pricing expert. “CDP’s ongoing tracking of carbon pricing by companies is indispensable to illuminating how companies act.”

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