Only 9% of Transportation Sector Invested in Low-Carbon Tech: Survey

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It’s no secret that the transport sector makes up for a huge chunk of emissions--13%, in one estimate. After all, it takes fuel to move anything from here to there. So you would think that with that whole climate change meme that’s been going around, the transport companies would be on the ball in terms of figuring out how to better manage emissions?

Wrong, according to a report that will be released tomorrow by the Carbon Disclosure Project, an influential non-profit counting 2,500 organizations in 60 countries among those who voluntarily disclose their emissions and climate change strategies. This clearing house for information has compiled some data on the transport sector and determined a few unsettling things.

First of all, the sector as a whole seemed somewhat unengaged. The CDP sent a survey to 291 organizations--everything ranging from airports to railroads to package delivery services to sea freight companies. Only about half participated to the CDP’s satisfaction (over a third simply ignored the request). A mere 9% of those surveyed reported having investments in new low carbon technologies. Most damning, only 36% of those surveyed have put carbon reduction plans into place at all. CDP Vice President Zoe Tcholak-Antitch tells Fast Company that she hopes the report will make businesses "wake up to fact that climate change is not going away, and that investors want to see them taking action."

The report is kinder to some regions, and some companies, than others (turns out South American businesses scored better, and UPS--which also happened to help fund the study--and a few others garner laurels). But the overall impression left by the report is of a sector behind the times, ignoring both risks and opportunities.

[Photo via Flickr/pagedooley

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