Beginning in January 2019, Quercus Altmetrics launches its first European Carbon Transparency Survey (ECTS). The objective is to get in touch with the 600 largest European public companies and retrieve their net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a homogeneous format so that we may compare them. The data extracted from the survey will allow investors to compute the carbon footprint of their portfolios and will help reporting companies to assess their position relative to their peers.
The only available source of information on greenhouse gas emissions from public companies are their annual corporate responsibility/sustainability reports as well as some supplementary reports published on their websites. Not only it proves extremely long and burdensome to gather all this data in a single database but the lack of homogeneity of reporting practices sometimes makes it difficult to interpret the figures published.
Typically, most companies report their emissions in metric tons of CO2 equivalent but some would only report thousands or millions of tons. On some occasions the distinction between direct (scope 1) and indirect (scopes 2 and 3) emissions is a bit foggy. Also, some companies only report intensity measures (that is, for instance, emissions per employee or per monetary unit of revenue). Lastly and just to limit this list to the most common cases, it is not always clear if the figures provided cover the whole reporting company or just a fraction of it.
Therefore, it clearly appears that we need to build a direct connection with reporting entities to retrieve homogeneous—and therefore comparable—data.
But, apart from a laudable effort of transparency or regulatory constraints, why would anyone respond to our survey? Here are our answers:
In addition to the above, we offer to people working in the corporate responsibility/sustainability area the opportunity to be added to our European ESG directory. Any member of that directory is entitled to receive a free copy.
For the last annual reporting period, companies are requested to provide a very basic set of information:
In addition to this, we ask companies 3 additional pieces of information: the estimated percent of group emissions covered, a link to the independent assurance document (if any) and a link to calculation details.
Our first European Carbon Survey has been sent to all the member companies of the STOXX 600 index but isn’t intended to be limited to this list. If your company is part of the index but you haven’t received an email from us or, if your company isn’t part of the index but you would like to participate anyway, please contact us.PDF LETTER XLS FILE