As You Sow publishes decarbonisation scorecard of 55 companies across a range of sectors, including technology, retail, transport, chemicals, energy, and chemicals

A ranking of the decarbonisation progress made by 55 major US companies has warned the vast majority of firms are not making sufficient progress in aligning their emissions reductions efforts with the 1.5C Paris Agreement goal.

More than four fifths of companies surveyed in a ‘Road to zero emissions’ scorecard published this afternoon by shareholder activist group As You Sow received a D or F grade for their progress towards achieving net zero emissions.

Tech giant Microsoft, drinks behemoth PepsiCo, and cleaning chemicals and water treatment systems company Ecolab were the only companies analysed to have been awarded an A grade in the non-profit’s rankings, while Google owner Alphabet and fellow tech giant Apple were the only firms to secure a B grade.

David Shugar, Say on Climate initiative manager at As You Sow and lead analyst for the new report, said the findings highlighted the lengths the corporate world needed to travel to align with global climate goals. “Approximately 84 per cent of the assessed companies received total scores of “D” or “F”, underscoring that we have a long way to go toward net zero progress,” he said.

As You Sow said it had not awarded any companies an A grade in the greenhouse gas reduction target category because none had committed to avoiding the use of carbon offsets to achieve their goals.

The report also found that 64 per cent of companies were not yet reporting the full range of their Scope 3 supply chain and product-related emissions.

“Carbon offsets cannot substitute for on-the-ground reductions by companies,” Shugar said. “To achieve net zero emissions, companies must take action at the level of their own operations and supply chains. Purchasing carbon offsets will not solve the climate crisis.”

The scorecard comes just a few weeks after a separate ranking of corporate climate plans from the New Climate Institute think tank concluded that 22 out of 25 of the world’s largest companies had decarbonisation plans of “low” or “very low” integrity, warning that firms were depending too heavily on offsets and neglected significant swathes of their supply chain emissions in their carbon accounting.

Similarly, a major update today from investor-backed climate disclosure initiative CDP found that just a third of major corporates globally have to date adopted robust net zero transitions plans.

As You Sow president Danielle Fugere said the time for action was “narrowing precipitously” and stressed that near-term emissions reduction at companies would be critical to achieving climate goals.

“The next few years are critical in achieving emissions reductions and setting a less catastrophic path for the global climate,” she said. “To address the current gap between goals and action, As You Sow’s scorecard weights near-term, year over year, GHG emissions reductions as the largest scorecard component.”

Want to find out more about how the net zero transition will impact your business? You can now sign up to attend the virtual Net Zero Finance Summit, which will take place live and interactive on Tuesday 29 March and will be available on demand for delegates after the event.

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