Twenty-nine major publicly traded companies based in or operating in the U.S. disclosed an internal price on carbon pollution to CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) in 2013, detailing both the risk and potential business opportunity for early action by their companies.
Prices range from $6-60 dollars, and exist at companies spanning all sectors of the economy, including energy, utilities, airlines, technology and the financial industry. Twenty-seven of the companies are listed in the S&P 500, while the other two (BP and Royal Dutch Shell) are foreign-based.
“Many companies across the U.S. have come to recognize that there is a price associated with the carbon they emit and an economic opportunity in factoring a carbon price into their business model,” said Tom Carnac, President of CDP North America. “Companies view the establishment of an internal carbon price as both an evaluation of risk and a business opportunity if they take steps to limit carbon pollution before others do.”
Internal carbon pricing has become a key strategic element and a standard operating practice for many businesses. They recognize that the effects of climate change, including devastating extreme weather events, have an impact on their bottom line and should be included in any risk assessment and long term business planning.
Internal carbon prices used range from $6-60 per metric ton, according to the report. In their 2013 CDP filings, the Walt Disney Company notes a price of $10-20, Google $14 and Xcel Energy $20. Other companies included in the report include: Walmart Stores Inc, Delta Airlines, Microsoft and PG&E Corporation.
“The scope of our risk management procedures with regard to climate change risks and opportunities includes consideration of the impacts of regulation, customer behavior changes and needs, reputational risks, and weather risks within the next five years," Wells Fargo wrote. As the report notes: “Mainstream businesses find the use of carbon pricing to be realistic, prudent and useful...No company cited major business disruption as an effect of either achieving GHG reductions or planning for costs of carbon as regulatory regimes evolve.”