Europe’s Climate Leaders 2022: interactive listing
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The second edition of the Financial Times-Statista list of Europe’s Climate Leaders appears at a time when companies are being pushed to raise their game even further on climate change.
How rapidly climate has moved up the corporate agenda was evident at November’s COP26 UN climate summit. “I’ve seen more CEOs here in the last eight days than I have at the previous eight years of COPs,” noted one conference regular. Meanwhile, financial groups made headlines by pledging to commit $130tn to efforts to hit net zero emissions targets.
But announcements like these are coming under ever closer scrutiny from climate experts, campaigners and regulators alike — who question the rigour not only of corporate climate targets but also of standard-setters such as the Science Based Targets initiative. That $130tn pledge, for example, drew criticism both for the way it was calculated and because many of the banks behind it continue to finance the fossil fuel industry.
This year’s FT-Statista Climate Leaders list attempts to reflect the tougher environment by tightening the rules for the biggest greenhouse gas emitters.
As in the inaugural edition, the companies listed below are those that achieved the greatest reduction in their Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity over a five-year period — 2015-20 this time.
Scope 1 and 2 emissions — “core emissions” in the table — come respectively from a company’s own operations and from generating the energy it uses, while intensity is defined as tonnes of emissions of CO2-equivalent per €1mn of revenue.
However, for those businesses whose annual core emissions exceeded 2mn tonnes, a rating of at least A- from environmental performance monitor CDP was mandatory. The editors also reserved the right to exclude companies whose broader environmental record — on non-GHG pollution, for example, or deforestation — was sufficiently disputed to undermine any claim to be a “climate leader”.
With these strictures in place, only three metals and mining groups made the list on the basis of improvements to their core emissions — the lowest tally of companies for any sector. Financial services accounted for the largest number of companies, with 43, followed by energy and retail. The biggest cut in emissions intensity was achieved in the technology sector, by Switzerland’s Logitech.
Like last year, the UK was home to the largest number of companies on the list — 120 this time, comfortably ahead of Germany, with 52, and France, with 44.
While the methodology, detailed below the table, is straightforward, it also has limitations. Scope 3 emissions, which occur along the large stretches of the value chain not covered by Scopes 1 and 2, typically account for the bulk of a business’s emissions — yet they are not always disclosed, and, even when they are, metrics vary, with the upshot that they cannot be consistently factored in to an intensity calculation.
Because our intensity calculation is based on emissions relative to revenue, some rapidly growing companies on the list actually increased their absolute emissions over the five-year period.
Where climate change meets business, markets and politics. Explore the FT’s coverage here.
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And this serves as a reminder that carbon accounting is one thing, but climate science another: more emissions simply means more global warming.
The companies in our Europe’s Climate Leaders listing may be moving in the right direction but there is still a lot of ground to cover.
A print and online report on Europe’s Climate Leaders will be published on May 5, containing articles analysing the issues that this research raises.
Scroll down to the bottom of the interactive table for the full research methodology.
 Compound annual reduction rate (CARR) based on the sum of Scope 1 and 2 emissions and adjusted by revenue growth between 2015-2020
 Calculated for 2020
 Absolute change in GHG emissions between 2015 and 2020. Positive values reflect a reduction in emissions, negative values an increase. All the companies on the list have, however, cut their emissions intensity
 Scope 3 refers to indirect emissions, which can be reported for some or all of 15 categories and thus vary enormously. This is why absolute figures are left out here
 CDP is a non-profit organisation that assesses how well companies and other bodies report on and reduce their environmental impact
 SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and WWF and helps companies set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
[a] Part of Volkswagen
[b] Part of Swisscom
[c] For absolute reduction of GHG emissions, Johnson Controls generally refers to a baseline of 2017
[d] Part of Ervia
[e] Excludes Tesa
[f] Indirect emissions (Scope 2 and 3) account for only 0.15 per cent of total emissions and thus are not reported separately
[g] Part of Volkswagen
[h] Core emissions only for manufacturing
[i] Scope 1 emissions include the operation of company cars
[j] On July 1 2020, Metso and Outotec merged to form Metso Outotec. Data from previous years thus represents the sum of both companies’ performance
[k] 2015 reporting refers to Philips Lighting
[l] Excludes operations in the UK
[m] Part of Beiersdorf
[n] Part of Munich Re
[o] Revenue refers to SalMar Group consolidated figures
[p] Part of Traton SE, CDP rating is for Volkswagen Group
[q] Consolidated data of TDC Net and Nuuday, of which TDC Holding A/S is the holding company
[r] Data for 2015 excludes Alcon
Europe’s Climate Leaders 2022 is a list of just over 400 European companies that have achieved the greatest reduction in their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity.
Specifically, it aims to highlight the businesses whose GHG emissions intensity fell the most between 2015 and 2020. Emissions intensity is defined as tonnes of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions of CO2-equivalent per €1mn in revenue. The 2015 and 2020 figures are used to calculate the compound annual rate of reduction, expressed as a percentage.
All European companies — defined as having headquarters in one of 33 European countries — with a minimum revenue of €40mn or £36mn in 2020 were eligible for consideration. For non-euro countries, the currency value equivalent as of 31/12/2020 was the threshold.
A call for entries in October 2021 invited prospective participants to fill out a short questionnaire about their GHG emissions between 2015 and 2020, and their revenue over the same period (or, for banks and insurance companies, total income). Statista also conducted independent research, scrutinising data from about 4,000 companies and inviting possible candidates to register.
Although the call for entries stipulated that businesses had to be independent, this rule was relaxed to allow subsidiaries that report their emissions independently to be listed.
For businesses with a rating from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), only those with a score of at least B- were considered. Companies that do not work with CDP were still eligible, but for any company annually emitting more than 2mn tonnes of CO2-equivalent, a CDP rating of at least A- was mandatory.
The editors also reserved the right to exclude companies whose broader environmental records, beyond reported Scope 1 and 2 emissions, were sufficiently disputed to undermine any claim to be a “climate leader”.
All companies for which relevant data were found — both those that registered and those independently identified — were contacted so that they could review the data. Of those, the 400 with the greatest reduction in emissions intensity have made it into the final list of European Climate Leaders 2022.
Fuller information about the methodology is available from Statista. Although extensive research was carried out, the list does not claim to be complete, as some companies did not publish their figures or did not participate.