Particulate Matter Emissions Is An Issue Companies of All Sizes Must Address
The World Health Organization (WHO) is using World Health Day to place an emphasis on clean air. Businesses have a crucial role to play in reducing air pollution. Understandably, it is often large companies that are singled out as needing to do more, but our data indicate that the impact of smaller companies on air quality is potentially significantly under-appreciated. Fewer than 2% of publicly listed companies disclose their particulate matter emissions, one of the most harmful air pollutants. As a percent of total companies by category, more large cap companies than mid or small caps report on their particulate matter emissions, and consequently, of those which report, large caps account for 49% of emissions.
However, when we adjust for the number of companies reporting, our data suggest that small and mid cap companies account for 86% of particulate matter emissions. Reporting on and monitoring progress is an important step to reducing emissions and helping to put us all on a path to having a more sustainable future and more sustainable companies. It is important that the regulatory pressure on sustainability disclosures does not only focus on the very largest companies.