13 November 2023 - More than 3,000 companies, including listed companies with over US$ 31 trillion in market capitalization value, have disclosed information on their production and use of plastics for the first time through CDP, the global environmental disclosure platform. This comes as UN members meet in Nairobi this week for the third round of negotiations for the historic Global Plastics Treaty.
- 3,162 companies from around the world disclosed plastic-related data for the first time through CDP, the global environmental disclosure platform.
- Major companies including Unilever, Sumitomo Chemical and Johnson & Johnson disclosed information on their production, use, and disposal of the most problematic plastics.
- This announcement comes as UN member state policymakers meet in Nairobi for INC-3, the third of five negotiation sessions for the Global Plastics Treaty.
- 48 financial institutions with over US$3.5 trillion in assets under management have also signed an open letter to governments, calling for the inclusion of mandatory corporate disclosure in the Global Plastics Treaty.
- This demonstrates the market support for cementing mandatory plastic-related disclosure as part of the Global Plastics Treaty, which will be essential for tracking progress against targets.
In this inaugural year, companies were requested to report on the production, use, and disposal of the most problematic plastics – plastic polymers, durable plastics, and plastic packaging – across their value chains. Disclosing companies included household names such as Unilever, Sumitomo Chemical and Johnson & Johnson, and spanned high-impact sectors ranging from electronics and food and beverage processing to chemicals and mining.
No part of the natural world is untouched by plastic pollution, and yet the plastics industry still operates with little transparency or regulation. The Global Plastics Treaty seeks to correct this, by creating an internationally legally binding instrument to comprehensively address the plastic pollution crisis. One of the options on the negotiating table is the inclusion of mandatory corporate disclosure as a tool for national monitoring and reporting.
Pietro Bertazzi, Global Director for Policy Engagement and External Affairs at CDP, said:
“It is promising to see mandatory corporate plastic disclosure on the negotiating table for the Global Plastics Treaty,
“Disclosure is vital for tracking toward Treaty aims, but it must be made mandatory to be effective. Mandatory disclosure can prevent loopholes and ensure policymakers have access to the insight they need to develop impactful, evidence-based policies that drive private sector action.
“It also creates a level playing field for companies in today’s highly-competitive business environment, enabling them to understand their impacts in terms of plastic pollution, the risks they face, the opportunities available to them, and where to take action.”
The growing private sector support for plastic-related disclosure reflects the direct impacts of the crisis on companies and investors alike. Plastic pollution and waste pose significant financial, physical, legal, regulatory and reputational risks. Disclosure is essential to tackling these risks, understanding what action is needed to manage impacts and seize opportunities. Financial institutions have also added their voice to the call for regulation on plastics disclosure. 48 major financial institutions with over US$3.5 trillion of assets under management, including Coller Capital and Green Century Funds signed an open letter to governments, calling for the inclusion of an ambitious mandatory corporate disclosure mechanism in the Global Plastics Treaty.
Adam Black, Head of ESG & Sustainability at Coller Capital, said:
“There is value in understanding the risks and opportunities associated with companies’ plastic footprints,
“We believe that plastic-related disclosure will enhance investment decision-making and make for more informed post-investment engagement. We are proud to support this important initiative from our perspective in private markets.”
The call to action of 48 major financial institutions for mandatory corporate disclosure within the Treaty reflects their critical need for consistent, comparable information on plastics from the companies they finance. With this data, they can redirect capital flows in line with Treaty aims, to ensure the companies they finance across the plastics value chain are measuring and managing their plastics footprints. Ahead of INC-3, this support for mandatory disclosure from both companies and investors should send a powerful signal to negotiators.
Pietro Bertazzi, Global Director for Policy Engagement and External Affairs at CDP, cotinued:
“More than 3,000 companies disclosing their plastic-related information through CDP is a powerful step in the right direction toward a world where action on plastic pollution and waste is business as usual.
“However, voluntary action alone is not enough. With plastic consumption increasing and greenhouse gas emissions from plastic production expected to double by 2060, companies must be transparent and held to account for their contributions to plastic pollution and waste.” “Now, negotiators must heed the powerful signal sent by over 3,000 companies and leading financial institutions, and ensure provisions on mandatory disclosure is cemented as a key tenet of the Global Plastics Treaty.”
Full findings from CDP’s first year of plastics disclosure will be released in spring 2024. CDP is working in partnership with The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Minderoo Foundation and WWF to build a plastic disclosure mechanism comparable to climate.
For more information, or exclusive interviews, please contact: Emma Thomas, Communications Manager at CDP.
To learn more about plastic-related corporate disclosure, visit CDP's plastics page.