Friday, December 12, 2014
Show Me the $92 Trillion!
It’s amazing what money and motivation can do, especially when investors’ funds are at stake. The Climate Disclosure Project (CDP) helps 767 investment companies managing US$92 trillion in assets to assess the risks of climate change to their portfolios. The bottom line is understanding how environmental factors influence risks that could negatively impact money and its performance. Risk factors include such things as greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water use and investments into infrastructure and how they improve or impede economic competitiveness. With so much money at stake you can be pretty sure that every effort will be made to protect these companies’ investments. Even better, the CDP estimates that carbon reduction initiatives generate a 33% return, which it values at $15 billion worldwide.
Many of the companies who are part of the CDP project are big customers for the graphic arts. They include media organizations such as the Pearson Group and News Corp, big brands such as Eurostar and Fiat, and retailers such as Burberry and Marks & Spencer Group. There are also a lot of big packaging buyers in the mix such as Unilever. CDP gathers environmental impact data from companies whose complex supply chains inevitably include print. The primary goal for this work is to protect invested capital and reduce investment risk, so it really is all about money.
However the CDP recognises that financial athleticism in an uncertain environment and changing climate requires a bigger plan to transform how the world does business. This involves collecting data that will help companies change their business processes to be more environmentally friendly. Companies are encouraged through the CDP data not only to respond to dangerous climate change but also to take steps to help prevent it and protect the planet’s natural resources.
CDP works with thousands of companies around the world, gathering data that helps large corporations and governments come up with big ideas and strategies to tackle climate change. Chances are that many of these companies are users of print, which makes it even more urgent that players in media supply chain understand how their business and production processes influence environmental impact.
We all understand the power that money wields, but maybe we don’t fully appreciate the power of factors driving its nurture and protection. The CDP helps investors to minimise associated risks, but their work is also helping improve capital allocation, making sure that money is spend wisely to support long-term prosperity which depends on a healthy planet and climate. Such a long view is a far cry from the usual perspective which goes for profit at any cost.
- Laurel Brunner