An environmental watchdog in the US recently released the 2010 list of top companies worldwide that have been doing more than their fair share of work in the reduction of carbon emissions.

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a not-for-profit organisation based in the US, released the Standard & Poor's (S&P's) Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index last week in New York during Climate Week. The Index reports which companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 are leading in addressing climate change. Companies are scored on their climate change disclosure and high scores reportedly indicate good internal data management and understanding of climate change related issues affecting the company.

Paul Dickinson, chief executive of the Carbon Disclosure Project, said the Index recognises companies that "demonstrate good internal data management practices for understanding greenhouse gas emissions, including energy use." Also considered were companies' efforts to address how climate change affects their business.

Among the companies in the Index were US telecommunications and technology companies, including AT&T, which not only conscientiously seeks ways to protect the environment but also tries to encourage its customers to support their green initiatives.

Energy-saving Initiatives

According to AT&T's sustainability report, it has appointed an energy director to oversee the company's efforts to manage energy efficiently, including reducing the amount of energy the company uses based on the data it carries on its network. AT&T said it had exceeded its goal for 2009, having registered a 23.8 percent reduction in energy use against 2008. AT&T's target for that timeframe was only 15 percent.

AT&T has also started using fuel-efficient vehicles and installed a second solar power plant in New Jersey, US. The company uses wind power in its facilities in Austin, Texas too.

These and other related efforts earned AT&T a spot on the CDP Index. The accolade is the latest for the company. It was included in the 2010 Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index released last month.

"We are honoured by this recognition and know that effective emissions data management requires a commitment to driving sustainability throughout our company," said Charlene Lake, Senior VP and Chief Sustainability Officer at AT&T. "From the board room to our front line employees, we strive to be vigilant about understanding the impact our business has on the world around us."

Efforts Lacking

However, the CDP 2010 Index also revealed that US firms pale in comparison to their global counterparts in terms of the number and types of efforts they are doing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

AT&T joins Sprint Nextel as a leading telecommunication company included in the 2010 S&P 500 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. Technology companies in the CDP Index include Cisco Systems, IBM, Compuware, Akamai Technologies, EMC, Motorola and Apple.