The report seeks to capture how companies’ climate-related views and activities have evolved, and tries to map out what companies see as the most important environmental issues for the future. The analysis is based on a survey of 3C members; a review of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports by Global 500 companies included in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s 2011 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index; a literature review, and interviews with representatives of selected companies.

It finds that awareness of climate change has increased, and businesses in particular have become more aware of how extreme weather, natural disasters and other climate-related risks could affect their operations. While many companies are not actively involved in climate issues, many of those that are have become more sophisticated, knowledgeable and engaged.

Corporate GHG emissions reporting has become quite widespread, and companies are increasingly asking their suppliers to decrease their emissions. Customers and, increasingly, investors are also pushing businesses to do more – not only to reduce their emissions, but also to identify, measure and work to reduce climate risks.

While climate change adaptation is a relatively new concept in the corporate world, we expect it to gain traction over the next several years, with more and more companies recognizing and trying to address vulnerabilities in their own operations and across their supply chains, distribution systems and key markets. Climate concerns are gradually being institutionalized within companies, which significantly strengthens businesses’ internal capacity to act meaningfully in response to climate change and related challenges. Still, businesses struggle with considerable uncertainties about climate change and related policy and market shifts.

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