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Global 500 Decoupling Emissions, Revenue Growth; Data Offers Hope for COP21 Targets

June 27, 2016

Global 500 Decoupling Emissions, Revenue Growth; Data Offers Hope for COP21 Targets

For the first time, data has shown a decoupling between revenue growth and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions output among the world’s 500 largest businesses (Global 500), according to a Thompson Reuters report released today. While as a group the companies are not yet reducing their emissions at a rate that follows the global scientific consensus on the risks of climate change, the slight improvement over the past five years offers a glimmer of hope.

The Global 500 currently represents about 28 percent of the world’s Global Domestic Product (GDP) and collectively emitted 10 percent of the world’s GHG emissions over the last five years. Revenues for the companies grew roughly 5 percent, while their emissions only increased by 1 percent over the most recent four-year period for which complete and comparable data is available (which was from fiscal year (FY) 2011 to FY2015 for 52 companies, FY2010 to FY2014 for 413 companies, and older data for the rest).

“Following COP21 last year, sustainable business growth has become a top priority and focal point for many organizations,” said Tim Nixon, managing editor of sustainability at Thompson Reuters and co-author of the report. “Limiting environmental impact is no longer just about doing the 'right' thing. Organizations recognize sustainable business growth is central to mitigating risk and driving top and bottom line performance.”

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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