2015 SA Carbon Disclosure Project Report highlights a Steady Emissions Decline since 2008
Submitted by: Bukelwa Nzimande, Thursday, December 10, 2015
The National Business Initiative (NBI) and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in South Africa recently released a series of infographics documenting the progress of South Africa’s JSE 100 in responding to climate change via voluntary reporting to the CDP since 2007. The high level trends show that over the last nine years there has been an improvement in both disclosure and performance scores, as well as an overall reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the JSE 100. However, the emission reductions achieved in the recent years do not meet required global and national reduction targets. This article highlights the key findings and trends observed by the CDP over the period:
South Africa’s highest emitters
The latest CDP report states that the majority of the carbon emissions emitted in South Africa are from a few large companies. Eskom is the highest direct emitter by far in South Africa, with emission figures of 233,4000,000 tCO2e for 2015. Eskom does not form part of the JSE 100 but does voluntarily report to the CDP.
The JSE 100’s ten largest public emitters in 2015, emitted 177,000,000 tCO2e which equates to 85% of the JSE 100 total scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. The list includes: Sasol Limited, BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Arcelor Mittal South Africa Ltd, Anglo American Platinum, Mondi PLC, Sappi, Sibanye Gold Ltd, AngloGold Ashanti, and PPC Ltd. The graph below illustrates South Africa’s JSE 100 top four emitters and their emissions over the 2009 – 2015 period. The graph shows a gradual decrease over the reporting years.
Using a “like for like” comparison of 45 companies that consistently reported to the SA CDP, scope 1 and 2 emissions for these companies declined by 11.5% from 2009 to 2015. The report highlights that external factors such as load shedding and the global financial crisis could have potentially influenced this reduction. In addition, although emissions data reported to the CDP indicates a steady decrease since 2007, companies are still not achieving significant GHG emissions reductions.
Increasing GHG reduction targets and emission reduction activities
The CDP report highlights that the number of companies setting specific emission reduction targets has increased from 18 (34%) in 2008 to 58 (78%) in 2015, and more emission reduction activities (ERAs) have been implemented over the reporting years. These ERAs have benefitted companies through total monetary savings equivalent to R 6.7 billion, from 2011 to 2015 and a total of 16.8 million tonnes CO2e emission savings from 2012 – 2015.
Improved disclosure and performance scores
The response rate over the reporting period has increased from 58% in 2008 to 79% in 2015 with a similar trend observed in the median disclosure scores which increased from 71 in 2008 to 96 in 2015. Additionally, 99% of companies now report their scope 1 and scope 2 emissions which is up from 75% in 2008. Based on these disclosure and performance scores, South Africa has grown to become one of the best responding countries in the world with a response rate percentage of 80% as last recorded in 2014. However little improvement has been observed regarding the reporting of scope three emissions.
Companies integrating climate change into governance activities
More companies are integrating climate change into their governance activities which shows increased awareness and effort from companies. Since 2008, the percentage of companies that have climate change issues overseen by a board has increased from 75 -100%; the percentage of companies that have integrated climate change into their risk management strategies has increased from 74-97%; and the percentage of companies that have integrated climate change into their business strategies has increased from 80 – 95%.
Moving towards improving the accessibility of carbon data
The CDP’s high level trends of the 2007-2015 period can be found in the infographic attached below. The series of infographics has been released together with an executive summary which highlights carbon emissions reporting trends in 2015 and over the nine year period. A full length report has not been developed this year as the NBI is following global trends and is moving towards making the data it has gathered more accessible by migrating it onto “big data” analytics platforms (www.cdp.net).
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