Taiwan companies with strongest carbon commitments yield better stock returns


Business Weekly Group published the survey result of Taiwan top 100 companies with the most carbon competitiveness at the Carbon Competitiveness Summit 2023 held on Nov. 17.

According to the survey, 73% of the top 100 companies saw higher share prices than their counterparts. 

Carbon reduction will become the most competitiveness edge in the next 20 years, and the more emissions companies reduce, the more profits it will generate, said Business Weekly’ chief writer Lu Kuo-chen (呂國禎) at the summit.

Quite a few leading Taiwanese companies have tapped into the carbon business, introducing products such as carbon neutral laptop, low-carbon cement, and low-caron steel, as well as innovative business models to drive carbon neutrality, Lu said.

Business Weekly invites companies including DHL, Alibaba, MoMo, Taiwan Cement and Taipei 101 to the Carbon Competitiveness Summit 2023 to exchange experiences. (Photo: Hsu Tsu-lin)

Financial sector taking the lead in carbon reduction

The survey, conducted in collaboration with Risk Society and Policy Research Center for its second year, ranked companies based on five indicators, including carbon productivity, carbon emissions increase rate, carbon reduction commitment, management, and Scope 3 emissions that are revealed in companies’ annual sustainability report. 

The survey shows that 48% of the companies fell out of the top 100, with only 52 companies retaining for two consecutive years. Companies in the financial sector were the most active, calculating not only their own emissions but that of their clients from the investment and financing sectors. The construction sector fells behind others, with only 25% of the companies disclosing full data.

For companies that cut the most emissions over the past three years, Wistron claimed the top position, cutting 30% of emissions over the past three years, followed by Quanta and Primax Electronics. 

Taiwan Cement, Taita Chemical Company, and Tex-Ray were the top three that cut the most emissions in the traditional carbon-intensive industries. YFY, Yang Ming Marine Transport, and Sino Horizon made into the top 100 for the first time this year.

Director-General of Sustainability Chu Kao-ling (丘高玲) of Wistron said that the company focuses on engaging suppliers in carbon reduction, having helped seven suppliers cut 8,000 tonnes of emissions, introduced carbon management system to carbon-intensive suppliers, and provided consultants, adding that managing suppliers can reduce carbon costs indirectly and improve Wistron’s competitiveness.  

Ye Yu-jun (葉毓君), director-general and chief sustainability officer of Taiwan Cement said that Taiwan Cement is not only a primary material supplier but also a green energy supplier and it’s actively developing energy storage and green energy trading businesses.

E-One Moli Energy, Taiwan Cement’s subsidiary, has sealed a deal in Canada to help the nation build the world’s first high-performance lithium-cell battery plant using 100% renewable energy, Ye said.

Taiwan Cement introduces the green concrete truck made with low-carbon materials in October (Photo: Taiwan Cement)

Roughly 70% of Taiwanese companies yet to establish internal carbon prices 

According to Director Chou Kuei-tien (周桂田) of Risk Society and Policy Research Center, the number of companies disclosing emissions data under the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures framework has increased from last year’s 30% to 80% this year. However, more than 60% of companies still lack a carbon reduction plan, and up to 70% have yet to set an internal carbon price mechanism.

“Listed companies are actively promoting carbon reduction, but SMEs still feel indifference. It’s just like boiling frog,” Chou said. Such a gap in carbon reduction between large corporates and SMEs is a warning sign for Taiwan plays a key role in the global supply chain.

Chou said that it’s important for large companies to assist SMEs with carbon reduction. Wistron makes a good example by providing carbon reduction training courses for employees across its suppliers.

Chou points out that the survey shows a large gap in carbon reduction between large companies and SMEs. (Photo: Hsu Tsu-lin)

Taiwan has a comprehensive net-zero roadmap but the progress lags behind the international community. More and more companies in the West are opting for hotels with lower emissions, but hotels in Taiwan neither calculate carbon footprint nor reduce carbon emissions, which may reduce the willingness of global corporates to organize events in Taiwan, said Peter Pu (蒲樹盛), president of the British Standards Institution’s (BSI) Northeast Region Office. 

Pu pointed out that the green revolution marks a great opportunity for businesses after the industrial revolution, impacting construction, aviation, transport, and financial sectors, and companies should turn the carbon risks into business opportunities, Pu added.

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