Carbon Action

Carbon Action is an investor-led initiative to accelerate company action on climate change, including energy efficiency activities which deliver a positive return on investment.

329 investors with US $25 trillion

in assets under management have asked the world’s highest-emitting publicly-listed companies to take three specific actions in response to climate change. Over the period 2011-16, investors asked companies to help tackle climate change in three ways:

i) Make emissions reductions
ii) Publicly disclose emissions reduction targets
iii) Invest in emissions reduction projects with a positive return

The Carbon Action sample and the methodology used to calculate the sample has changed for 2016 and now incorporates scope 3 emissions as a factor in determining the sample of 1,305 companies (including 5 influential media companies and 5 banks with the largest funding of coal projects to pilot investor influence in these related yet indirect areas).

Response Rates

1305 Companies targeted by Carbon Action in 2016. 63% responded to CDP.


1305 Companies targeted by Carbon Action. 818 Responded to CDP. 8% have absolute and or intesity targets covering 90-100% of their operations for scopes 1, 2, and 3. 62% have absolute and/or intensity targets covering 90-100% of their operations for scopes 1 + 2. 86% have set an emissions reduction target.


522 million tonnes of CO2 was saved due to projects implemented in 2015.
Based on information disclosed to CDP, carbon reducing projects, on average, have a 3-year return on investment
for every US $5 invested in such projects 1 tonne of CO2 is saved.

For 2017 the Carbon Action focus will evolve while continuing to encourage emissions reductions (including via projects with positive returns), the new strategic context provided by the Paris Agreement coming into force and the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure will be highlighted in addition, investors will request that companies sign-up to the We Mean Business coalition’s agreed priority initiatives (inc. Science Based Targets) for relevant sectors.

We mean business

We Mean Business is a coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses. These businesses recognize that the transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all.


Following sectors which contribute the highest percentage of total scope 1 and 2 emissions -

Response rates, Regional responders and Targets Metrics
Absolute/Intensity Targets, Science-based Targets and Regional Absoluet/Intensity Targets
Emissions, Projects, Projects - emission reductions, Projects - investment
Top 10 Emitters, Top 10 non-responders
We Mean Business Metrics by sector