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Europe's major companies are leaders in global action against climate change, water risks, and deforestation.


With European companies well-represented in the CDP A List 2017 for climate, water and forests, the corporate world on the continent is already in a leadership position.



That includes the 24% companies using internal carbon pricing, or the 81% factoring water management into their business strategy.


But only leading 5% of the 540-strong sample are future-proofing their growth by committing to set science-based targets and 57% are yet to respond to CDP’s climate change questionnaire.



“This report, our first comprehensive view on European businesses' efforts to mitigate climate change, manage their water risks and stop deforestation, reveals the corporate winners and losers emerging.”  Steven Tebbe, CDP Managing Director



Long-term targets are key


With emissions reductions the key to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals, many companies are stepping up their response and driving innovation as they embrace and develop new tools for change.


The clear majority of European companies are mapping out their low-carbon, water-secure futures. 81% have reductions targets their emissions, while 61% are setting water-related targets or goals, and 90% have made commitments to reduce or remove deforestation from their operations.



Climate change is now a mainstream boardroom topic


We are starting to see the shifts necessary to accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy through strong leadership, ongoing engagement and accountability.


Natural capital action is now led from the board. 88% of companies board-level responsibility for climate change board, while for water (77% of companies) and deforestation issues (81%) Europe leads the global average.



High quality disclosure is a critical first step for insight


More than two-thirds of companies now independently verify at least 70% of their direct emissions - up from 49% in 2016. However, indirect and value chain (Scope 3) emissions are a challenge for the nearly 50% who recognize at least one major emissions category not yet calculated, and 51% of companies responding on water do not yet engage with their suppliers on water security. But the first step remains for the 57% yet to respond to CDP’s climate change questionnaire.