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15 Dec 2021, 13:42
Edgar Meza

Gas producers, automakers have biggest climate impact among Germany’s corporations – report

Handelsblatt

A new report by Swiss asset management firm Globalance Invest has examined the climatic impact of the 40 companies listed on the DAX, Germany’s leading stock market index, and measured their global warming potential, Handelsblatt reports. In the past, analysts and investors looked solely at key figures such as cash flow, price-earnings and price-to-book ratios, said Globalance Invest managing director Werner Hedrich, who authored the report. With the global community now in agreement over global warming and the two degrees Celsius warming limit of the Paris Agreement, "that is no longer enough", he stressed. "Investors should be aware of what they are investing in," Hedrich added. Indeed, the report found that some DAX companies are nowhere near as ecologically clean as they are perceived to be. Carmakers Volkswagen and Daimler are among the companies that are having the biggest impact, due to the production of internal combustion engines for cars and trucks. Only industrial gas producer Linde is dirtier, as the energy-intensive production of gases leads to high greenhouse gas emissions. By contrast, software company SAP, which supports the efficient use of resources, is ranked as one of the cleanest companies. Globalance determines the carbon intensity of the DAX companies by weighting emissions with sales. It found that utilities, carmakers and chemical manufacturers have the highest CO2 emissions in tonnes per million dollar sales. These sectors make up a fifth of the capitalisation in the leading index.

Germany’s leading corporations have faced increasing pressure to invest more in climate protection instead of focusing on profits. But changing the environmental impact of financial assets so far often has led to unsatisfactory results: an analysis by NGO Finanzwende recently found that most of the money put into so-called sustainable funds in Germany is not invested in projects that differ significantly from conventional investment funds.

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