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III. Results


The number of companies reporting emission reduction initiatives and plans this year rose by 5% to 91% (31 companies) compared to 86% in 2010 and 50% in 2009. Only two companies did not provide any information on their emissions reduction initiatives.


This figure is higher than that of companies (22) with an emissions’ reduction target (67%): it seems that the importance of reducing emissions is translated into action before becoming a formal commitment. A total of 186 emission reduction initiatives have been reported. 101 (54%) of these initiatives fall within the areas of energy efficiency (49 or 26%), low carbon energy (30 or 16%) and transportation (22 or 12%). It is worth noting that behavioral change (which is the third most popular type of activity being carried out by the respondents in the Global 500), despite short payback periods, currently accounts for only 5% of the initiatives in place. It will be interesting to observe how this figure changes over the coming years, since this is an area that is generally regarded as one with potential for significant reduction. Surprisingly, no initiatives on new product design have been included in this year’s responses.


70% (23) of the companies have disclosed information on their estimated payback period, which indicates that 95 (51%) of the reported reduction initiatives are backed by financial considerations. Information on monetary savings from emissions’ reduction initiatives and on investments required to reach the initiatives’ targets are provided by 36% (12) and 42% (14) of responding companies respectively. This is probably due to some difficulty for companies in estimating benefits (i.e. monetary savings) related to certain types of actions. This in turn might reflect the lack of a structured framework for evaluating financial impacts of emissions’ reduction initiatives. Total reported annual monetary savings amount to € 29 millions.


Approximately 53% of those initiatives where information on payback period was disclosed have a payback period longer than 3 years. Evidence confirms that, in many cases, the return on sustainability and climate change initiatives needs to be evaluated by looking at longer term planning horizons. On the other hand this willingness to invest in activities with a medium to long term payback period is evidence that companies regard energy and emissions’ reduction as important strategic priorities.


Figure 17: Emission Reduction Initiatives (%)


Low carbon energy, energy efficiency and process emissions’ reduction initiatives make up the highest proportion of initiatives with payback periods of over three years. 100% of behavioral change activities have a payback period of less than one year, suggesting that the popularity of these activities may increase in the next years.


29%


26%


5% 16% 10% 2% 12%


Efficiency Low Carbon Transportation


Fugitive emissions reductions


Process emissions reductions


Behavioral change Other


Figure 18: Reduction initiatives information provided (%)


100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%


Not provide Provide


30% 64% 58%


70% 36% 42%


Annual Monetary Savings


Investments


Payback Period 27


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