Tesla among firms targeted by investors over climate reporting


Tesla Inc. is among a group of companies that’s been criticised by investors with over $31 trillion in assets for failing to disclose their environmental footprints through global reporting standards.

Amundi SA, Aviva Plc and Nuveen are some of the institutional investors calling on Tesla, Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil Corp., Glencore Plc, Volvo Group and others to report climate, water and forest impacts through CDP, the nonprofit whose disclosure system is used by more than 13 000 companies.

Asset managers targeting environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals have been stepping up pressure on the companies in their portfolios to use consistent reporting metrics as they try to get clarity and steer clear of potential greenwashing. That’s amid growing regulatory scrutiny of the industry and ever stricter rules designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions before it’s too late.

“Climate change, deforestation and water security present material risks to investments,” Laurent Babikian, joint global director of capital markets at CDP, said in a statement. “Companies that are failing to disclose their impact risk trailing behind their competitors in their access to capital.”

This year’s campaign is the sixth coordinated by CDP, with a record 57% jump in the number of financial institutions signing up.

Tesla, which is a staple of climate funds due to its dominance in the electric vehicle industry, didn’t answer emails seeking comment. Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, has previously criticized the ESG industry, even going so far as to call it a “scam.” He also railed against ESG investing theory after Tesla was excluded from an S&P Global index that tracks companies on their environmental, social and governance standards. Tesla stock is held by almost 900 so-called light and dark green funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

This year, investors participating in the campaign to convert companies to the CDP reporting system are taking aim at a total of 1,473 firms. Babikian said companies that adhere to CDP standards are in a better position to deal with stricter ESG regulations once they become a reality. That’s as the US Securities and Exchange Commission hopes to propose tough climate disclosure rules that, in some cases, will require firms to report indirect, or so-called Scope 3, emissions.

Sustainability Reporting Chief Makes Case for Global Approach

Investors backing the CDP campaign asked most of the companies targeted to report on how their business is impacting climate change. They also wanted more information on water and forest impacts.

European companies lead the pack in environmental reporting, with about 2,400 firms using the CDP framework, Babikian said. One in four has science-based emission reduction targets, with more expected, he said.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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