The Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada

February 27, 2009 11:46 ET

The Conference Board of Canada: Climate Change Disclosure Benefits Investors and Companies Alike

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2009) -

NOTE TO EDITORS - An audio clip is available at the following address:

U.S. President Barack Obama is not alone in bringing climate change to the forefront-investors and companies are also taking action. As outlined in The Conference Board of Canada publication, The Carbon Disclosure Project: Why Should Companies Participate?, investors want to know how individual companies will be affected by climate change, and what they are doing about it. Moreover, leading companies are recognizing the benefits of disclosing how they are managing risks and sizing up opportunities brought on by climate change.

"Institutional investors are demanding that companies disclose physical, regulatory, reputational and litigation risks of climate change and the strategies being taken to manage these risks," said Len Coad, Director, Western Office and Director, Environment, Energy and Technology for the Conference Board, which is the Canadian partner for administering and reporting on the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

"Furthermore, firms can seize opportunities through CDP reporting to spur innovation and capital investment by allowing them to highlight their performance in these areas. Reporting their actions allows companies to position themselves as part of the solution to the challenge of climate change."

The CDP represents an international coalition of institutional investors. In 2008, 385 investors (including 40 based in Canada) with a combined asset base of $57 trillion were signatories to the CDP's information request. The request was sent to 3,000 of the world's largest publicly-traded companies, including the 200 largest Canadian firms by market capitalization traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Of the 103 Canadian publicly-traded companies that responded to the CDP information request in 2008, 90 indicated that climate change presents economic opportunities for their business. Meanwhile, 85 respondents indicated that climate change presented physical risks to operations, regulatory risks or general business continuity risks. As described in a previous publication, Carbon Disclosure Project - Canada 200 - Summary for Investors, four of five Canadian companies responding to the questionnaire said they are integrating climate change into their risk management strategies.

A third Conference Board Executive Action briefing, Climate Change Risks and Opportunities: Sector Highlights from the Carbon Disclosure Project, will be published in March and focus on climate change activities in several business sectors.

The 2009 CDP information request on behalf of institutional investors was sent in February 2009, with the results to be published in October 2009.

The British High Commission in Canada supported the publication of this briefing.

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