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Environmental risk, Trump, Covid as priority for top SA companies

Leading companies are taking crucial steps towards financially quantifying their exposure to climate risks by identifying and measuring the value of the economic, social, and environmental context opportunities available to them.

This year seven South African companies have made it onto the CDP A-list 2020. CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts. The world’s economy looks to CDP as the gold standard of environmental reporting with the richest and most comprehensive dataset on corporate and city action.

CDP’s annual environmental disclosure and scoring process is widely recognised as the gold standard of corporate environmental transparency.

In 2020, over 515 investors with over US$106-trillion in assets and 150+ major purchasers with US$4-trillion in procurement spend, requested companies to disclose data on environmental impacts, risks, and opportunities through CDP’s platform. Over 9 600 responded – the highest ever. South African companies taking the lead are demonstrating not only good governance but are taking transparent action to mitigate these risks, realise the opportunities, and building climate-resilient and sustainable companies going forward.

South Africa’s A list companies include:

1.       Anglo American Platinum (Double A-lister: CDP Climate and CDP Water Security)

2.       Clicks Group ltd. (A-list for CDP Climate)

3.       Gold Fields Limited (A-list for CDP Water Security)

4.       Impala Platinum Holdings (A-list for CDP Water Security)

5.       Mondi PLC (Triple A-lister for CDP Climate, CDP Water Security and CDP Forests)

6.       Nedbank (A-list for CDP Climate)

The National Business Initiative (NBI), the local partner to CDP, has assisted companies with their disclosures through CDP since 2008. Steve Nicholls (Head: Environmental Sustainability) says: “It is exceptional to see so many A-listers emerge in a time when business competitiveness is increasingly driven by international and local climate policy.”

A detailed and independent methodology is used by CDP to assess these companies, allocating a score of A to D based on the comprehensiveness of disclosure, awareness, and management of environmental risks and demonstration of best practices associated with environmental leadership, such as setting ambitious and meaningful targets. Those that do not disclose or provided insufficient information are marked with an F.

Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, says: “We extend our congratulations to all the companies on this year’s A-List. Taking the lead on environmental transparency and action is one of the most important steps businesses can make and is even more impressive in this challenging year marked by Covid-19. The scale of the risk to businesses from climate change, deforestation, and water insecurity is enormous, and we know the opportunities of action far outweigh the risks of inaction. Leadership from the private sector will create an ‘ambition loop’ for greater government action and ensure that global ambitions for a net-zero sustainable economy become a reality. Our A List celebrates those companies who are preparing themselves to excel in the economy of the future by taking action today.”

The full list of companies that made this year’s CDP A-List is available here, along with other publicly available company scores:

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