This is the Fortune 500 of companies taking the lead to fight climate change

Heal the world.
Heal the world.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
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CDP, a British environmental nonprofit, receives data from almost 2,000 companies around the world showing what they do to fight climate change. From that, the group has compiled a list of the 187 best companies—firms such as Apple, Samsung, and BMW—into a kind of elite (and much smaller) Fortune 500 for environmentally-conscious companies, dubbed the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI), and it says those companies are outperforming the rest of the market. The CPLI returned 37.5% from 2010-2014 (pdf) to investors, compared with 34.2% for the Bloomberg World Index.

Companies on the CPLI invest $23 billion a year to reduce carbon emissions, cutting their output by an average of 9% annually, CDP says, with an average internal rate of return of 57% for each project.

“The businesses that have made it onto our first-ever global list of climate performance leaders are to be congratulated for their progress; they debunk economic arguments against reducing emissions,” said CDP CEO Paul Simpson. ”The bottom line is at risk from the climate crisis. The unprecedented environmental challenges that we confront today are also economic problems.” CDP says that the index was created on behalf of 767 institutional investors around the globe, representing $92 trillion—a third of the world’s invested capital.

Half of the CPLI is headquartered in Europe—more than a quarter come from Spain and Belgium. Companies from Portugal, the Netherlands, and South Korea also feature in the list. The nonprofit said that the three largest companies that failed to respond to its requests for information on their climate change strategies were all American: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and Comcast. Others that did not participate include China’s Tencent, Japan’s Rakuten and Uniqlo, and Russia’s Rosneft.