As climate change took center stage this week in Davos, Republic Services Group (RSG) was recognized by the CDP, a global environmental impact nonprofit (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), as a member of the Climate “A List”.
“A List” members are a very select group chosen by the CDP each year for using “science based goals, strategies and actions to lower greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate risks.” CDP collects data from over 8,400 companies each year, and only 2% make the Climate A List.
The use of CDP by both investors and procurement officers shows just how important having a climate impact awareness initiative is becoming for public companies like Republic. Being able to tout a climate initiative can positively impact bottom line earnings as well as share price.
Over 500 investment firms with over $96 trillion in assets, as well as 125 major purchasers with $3.6 trillion in procurement budgets, use CDP data when making investment and procurement decisions.
Commenting on the award, Pete Keller, RSG VP of recycling and sustainability stated, “It’s rewarding to see Republic Services’ environmental efforts recognized by the CDP.” Referencing the fact that the company is reducing its carbon footprint, Keller said, “This achievement provides important market recognition of our climate leadership.”
Climate based investing gained momentum in 2019 as climate based ETFs outperformed their peers. A survey by Bank of America Securities showed that 90% of millennials use climate impact as one of their top criteria for investing in a company.
In discussing the award to Republic Services Group, Bruno Sarda, president of CDP North America, pointed out the importance of climate change mitigation to public companies. “A List companies know sustainability presents an exciting race to the top, an opportunity to innovate and rethink business as usual, proving that environmental responsibility simply makes good business sense.”
The A List award is particularly valuable to Republic Services, which by the nature of its business has the appearance of impacting the environment more so than other companies. Recent changes in the acceptance level of contaminants in recyclables by China has put pressure on the company to change where and how it recycles waste.
By maintaining its climate initiative goals in the face of these challenges the company has demonstrated to investors that not only can it live up to its climate promises, but as demonstrated by the recent rise in its share price, do so while operating a thriving business.
Steven Adams’s personal position in Republic Services Group: none.
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