Ethical Corporation reviews ten stand-out issues for corporate responsibility and sustainability in 2014
Climate action is not working
It was another worrying year on the global warming front. Many companies continue to take emissions-limiting measures, encouraged by growing evidence that controlling emissions can be correlated with increased profits. A CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) index of companies that “demonstrate a superior approach to climate change mitigation,” published in October, found that the 187 firms on the list outperformed the Bloomberg World Index by nearly 10%. The leaders, according to CDP, include BMW, Centrica, Samsung and Unilever.
But it's still not enough. In April 2014, the northern hemisphere concentration of carbon dioxide was above 400 parts per million (ppm) for the whole month – the highest levels in 800,000 years and well on the way to the 450 ppm level said to be the trigger for dangerous levels of climate change. Globally, greenhouse gas emissions are climbing, with 2014 output expected to be up 2.5% from 2013. China emits close to 30% of the world total as it seeks to meet world consumer demand for manufactured goods.
In response, the European Union agreed in principle to cut its emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990,...