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12 Nov 2021, 13:39
Edgar Meza

Many German corporations actively setting their own ambitious climate targets – survey

Clean Energy Wire

A large number of German companies are pursuing sustainability strategies and have ambitious climate protection goals to reduce their carbon footprint, according to Deloitte's semi-annual CFO survey. The international consultancy interviewed over 150 CFOs of large companies, finding that around 60 percent of them have set fixed CO2 reduction targets, with 40 percent striving for carbon neutrality. "It is amazing how quickly companies have reacted with regard to climate protection and sustainability management and how quickly they have set themselves ambitious goals," said Deloitte partner Rolf Epstein. Many company executives have realised that they need to be proactive in these fields in order to survive and maintain their customers in the long term, he added.

CO2 emission reduction appears to be particularly important in the consumer goods and chemical sectors, where more than 75 percent have set specific climate targets, followed by automotive, real estate and technology, with German companies leading the field in Europe, according to the consultancy. Two-thirds of the companies are focused on reducing their own emissions, almost half also aim to reduce emissions in the supply chain and develop climate-friendly products and services themselves. For 63 percent of those surveyed, the main factor behind climate protection strategies was to strengthen their reputation with customers, followed by cost reductions (41%), adaptation to customer requirements (39%) and regulatory adjustments (36%). The survey also highlights the important financial aspects of sustainability goals, but notes that only 49 percent of companies have implemented sustainability criteria in external reporting.

Despite the growing awareness among company executives to do more, climate protection proponents say German corporations are not doing enough and have argued they should invest more in sustainability instead of paying out increasing amounts of profits to shareholders. Many larger corporations, notably in the automotive and energy sector, have also repeatedly been criticised for undermining or delaying climate action efforts in the past.

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