Toronto (October 8. 2009) - Canada’s largest publicly traded companies are preparing for anticipated climate change policies by increasing their carbon management efforts each year, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project 2009: Canada 200 Report.

The Canadian findings of the global Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) initiative are being released today at Conference Board of Canada events in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

"Canadian companies now see more opportunities than risks from climate change, a significant change in sentiment since the Conference Board first conducted the CDP in Canada in 2006. Even in an uncertain economy, more companies are broadening and deepening their climate change activities," said Len Coad, Director, Environment, Energy and Technology of the Conference Board, which carries out the information request in Canada.

"A consistent group of firms have become leaders in Canada for the quality of information they provide, and are recognized as Climate Disclosure Leaders." Len Coad, Conference Board of Canada. The top 200 companies by market capitalization on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) were asked to respond to the CDP annual information request. Ninety-seven of Canada’s largest companies responded, a slight decline from last year’s 103 respondents (in both 2008 and 2009, respondents represented 77 per cent of the market capitalization of the TSX).

The largest companies provided the most comprehensive responses, and companies in high-carbon impact sectors-notably transport and logistics, and oil and gas-demonstrated a higher overall quality of disclosure than firms in low-carbon-impact sectors.

For the first time, this year’s report compares Canadian companies to organizations in other countries where the CDP is conducted. Canadian companies are in the middle of the pack in terms of their:

- engagement with policy-makers on climate change,
- disclosure of direct emissions from their operations and from external supply of electricity,
- involvement in emissions trading, and
- sound governance on climate change at the board level.

Although Canadian companies are increasingly undertaking carbon mitigation activities, they remain below the global average in the number of companies that perceive carbon to represent physical and regulatory opportunities instead of risks, have emission reduction plans, and use external verification for emissions data.

Ten companies in high-carbon impact sectors and five in low-carbon impact sectors are recognized as Climate Disclosure Leaders in Canada, based on the scoring of their CDP responses. Out of these, nine respondents have achieved this result for three consecutive years and two have been recognized for two consecutive years.