Big Tech Firms Ramp Up Environmental Disclosure

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New S&P Analysis: Big tech firms ramp up environmental disclosure amid calls for more transparency

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A new S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis found that big tech companies are taking note of investor demand for greater transparency in environmental reporting, with Facebook, Apple and others recently publishing environmental progress reports. Leveraging Trucost data, the analysis measures how transparent selected American big tech companies are being about their operational environmental and climate-change related risks through weighted disclosure ratios.

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Environmental Disclosures Of Big Tech Firms

Key highlights from the analysis include:

  • Facebook published its first-ever sustainability report in July, touting progress towards its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% and powering operations with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020.
    • This report is a significant change of direction for Facebook, which received an 11% weighted environmental disclosure ratio for 2018 from Trucost, the most recent year available.
  • Apple pledged to become carbon neutral across entire business by 2030, claiming it is already carbon neutral for corporate emissions. It received a 9.6% weighted environmental disclosure ratio from Trucost in 2018.
  • Netflix, which received a 0% on weighted environmental disclosure ratio in 2018, noted in 2019 that 100% of its estimated nonrenewable power use was matched with renewable energy certificates and carbon offsets.
  • Alphabet, Google’s parent company, said it has been carbon neutral since 2007, and is now working to source Carbon-free energy on a 24-7 basis at all data center locations. Alphabet earned a 98.2% disclosure ratio from Trucost in 2018.
  • Amazon is another e-commerce giant on the higher end of the spectrum, earning a 72% weighted environmental disclosure ratio from Trucost in 2018.

Background: Trucost, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, is a leader in carbon and environmental data and risk analysis. The unit assesses risks relating to climate change, natural resource constraints, and broader environmental, social, and governance factors. It was acquired by S&P Global in 2016.

Here’s a link to the full analysis and more details about Trucost’s disclosure ratio methodology:

Environmental Disclosure

Environmental Disclosure

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