How we calculated emissions and Paris Agreement targets 

CO2 emissions reflect latest available CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent emissions) values, as reported by companies, or — if unreported — using one of several estimation calculations. All values were calculated or reported for 2018, 2017, or 2016. 

CO2e encompasses all greenhouse gas emissions (CH4, N2O, hydrofluorocarbons, etc.) standardized in CO2 equivalents. For example, CH4 is 25x as potent of a greenhouse gas as CO2. Furthermore, CO2 values solely reflect EPA Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and exclude (often substantial) Scope 3 emissions, which includes emissions passed onto consumers, emissions from contracted waste disposal, and emissions from employee travel and commuting. 

The Paris Agreement benchmarks were devised by creating a linear function based on discrete targets announced by US and EU officials. The US pledged a 27% reduction in emissions by 2025, a 50% reduction by 2035, and an 80% reduction by 2050, relative to a 2005 baseline. The EU pledged a 20% reduction by 2020, a 40% reduction by 2030, and an 80% reduction by 2050, relative to a 1990 baseline. Companies were deemed compliant with Paris pledges if reported targets from baselines fell below either line.

The S&P 500 reflects index components as of July 31, 2019. S&P sectors directly align with universal GICS standards.

Refinitiv isn’t an investment advisor and past performance in backtesting isn’t indicative of future returns.

Read more original stories highlighting Refinitiv’s sustainability-focused data and analysis here.

This feature was produced on behalf of Refinitiv by Quartz Creative and not by Quartz editorial staff.

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