An activist group on Monday unveiled a new tool for keeping tabs on what companies are — and aren't — disclosing about risks they face from global warming.
The investor advocacy group Ceres has launched a searchable database of what 3,000 large corporations say about climate change in annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Ceres tool is fresh evidence that shareholder activism is playing a growing role in battles over climate change. The new database looks at filings from companies in the Russell 3,000 index of the largest U.S. corporations, but users can also look more narrowly at the S&P 500.
Activists say that investors should have more information about how publicly held companies may be affected by federal and state climate and energy policies, as well as the physical risks that climate change creates for businesses from threats such as rising sea levels and severe weather.
"For markets to properly account for rising climate-related risks, investors need information on how companies recognize and manage those risks. This tool helps to make that enterprise far easier for investors interested in understanding and managing climate risk," said Julie Gorte, senior vice president for sustainable investing at Pax World, a company that specializes in green investing.