GLOBAL – Eighty-seven of the world’s leading institutional investors and pension funds have written to 500 companies asking for the disclosure of information regarding their greenhouse emissions.

The group, co-ordinated by the Carbon Disclosure Project, has asked the 500 largest quoted companies in the world by market capitalisation to disclose investment-relevant information concerning their greenhouse emissions.

Among the group are some of the Europe’s largest pension funds. ABP, AP1, PGGM, Railpen, and the Universities Superannuation Scheme all appear on the list of institutional investors.

Commenting on the request for information, Paul Dickinson, project co-ordinator, said: “There are potential business risks and opportunities related to actions stemming from climate change that have implications for the value of shareholdings in corporations worldwide. This suggests it is time for shareholders to improve their understanding of climate change risks and opportunities.

“The data to assess these issues are not always available, sometimes lack comparability or are of poor quality. This exercise is aimed at encouraging the development of a common emissions measurement methodology and to facilitate its integration into general investment analysis. The signatories recognise the pressure companies face from constant demands for information, and have joined in this single call for information to streamline the requests."

This is the second time a request has been made. Last year a smaller group of institutional investors collaborated to ask for this information, and 245 companies responded. The results were published in February.

The 500 companies that receive the request this year have been asked to respond within four months, and the information received will be compiled into a thematic report by Innovest Strategic Value Advisers, who have been retained to perform the analysis.

The report will be distributed to participating shareholding institutions and responding corporations, and made publicly available at from May 2004.