Microsoft lead the Dow Jones 30 in managing the risks of climate change

Published 26th September 2018 by Lucy Haines

Our new report published today finds that companies across the Dow 30 index are responding to shareholders demands to see climate risk assessed as part of company governance.

The ‘Sustainability Reporting Performance’ report, which ranks Dow 30 companies on their sustainable business practices, finds that despite a lack of mandatory reporting regulations on climate risk, 100% of companies publicly report carbon emissions.

The research also finds a high level of adherence to reporting frameworks with 87% of Dow 30 companies reporting in line with a recognized framework, of which 73% are using the Global Reporting Initiative. These frameworks and initiatives offer a comprehensive yet concise way to communicate sustainability commitments to shareholders and potential investors.

With a score of 94%, tech giant Microsoft takes first place, with Intel scoring second with 80%, closely followed in third place by Johnson & Johnson with a score of 79%.

It’s clear to us that taking significant action to improve sustainability within our company is the right thing to do – for our business, our customers and our planet,” said Lucas Joppa, chief environmental officer at Microsoft. “We’ve made considerable progress, including operating 100 percent carbon neutral since 2012, purchasing more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy and committing to further reduce our carbon footprint by 75 percent by 2030. But we see an equal responsibility, and opportunity, to deploy our resources to accelerate this progress beyond our four walls, at a global scale. We’re proud of this recognition, and committed to driving even greater change in the years to come.”

Energy is another key theme in the research with 97% of Dow 30 companies already implementing energy efficiency technologies and 87% using renewable energy, whether it is purchased from verified sources or generated on-site.

Moreover, 13% of DOW 30 organizations have already started to actively divest from fossil fuels and a further 47% of DOW 30 companies have adopted green finance policies or consider sustainability in their investment decisions.

William Theisen, CEO of EcoAct North America, commented: “This is the first year Dow Jones listed companies have been included in this research and the results are very positive. The companies listed on the Dow Jones index are some of the largest and most profitable organizations in the world and so their addition to the report significantly expands our scope of best practice in sustainability reporting.

The United States is the second largest global emitter of greenhouse gases which highlights the importance of analyzing sustainability trends in American companies. Our aim is to highlight best practice leadership and with that in mind we want to congratulate the top performers – we hope it inspires further action in US companies.”

EcoAct also scored companies in three other international indices – the FTSE 100 (London) CAC40 (Paris), and IBEX 35 (Madrid).

The research involves the assessment of companies against 79 tailored criteria covering four subject areas: Measurement & Reporting, Strategy & Governance, Targets & Reduction, and Engagement & Innovation. Only the most recent public disclosures are scored, using annual, integrated and corporate sustainability reports, and any additional links from company websites, including sustainability micro-sites and blogs. This is the eighth annual edition of the research for the FTSE 100.

The aim of EcoAct’s annual research report is to acknowledge and highlight those businesses that are taking real action towards meeting ambitious sustainability plans and environmental targets, while sharing best practice when it comes to managing the risks and maximizing the opportunities of climate change.

To access the full report and get all the insights from the DOW and across other global indices, download our report today.

About EcoAct

At EcoAct we are driven by a shared purpose to make a difference. To help businesses to implement positive change in response to climate and carbon challenges, whilst also driving commercial performance.
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