The CAQ analyzed S&P 500 companies’ 10-Ks to understand their SEC filing disclosures regarding climate-related information, greenhouse gas emissions, and net-zero and carbon neutral commitments.
CAQ looked at the most recent SEC Form 10-K for S&P 500 companies as of June 2023.1
We analyzed 10-Ks from S&P 500 companies to understand what companies disclosed in their SEC filings about:
This analysis was solely focused on information disclosed in an S&P 500 company’s SEC Form 10-K, and does not contemplate climate-related information communicated by companies in information outside of their SEC Form 10-K.
The CAQ observed that the majority of S&P 500 companies mention climate-related information in their 10-K.
Section of 10-K where climate-related information is mentioned
From 2021 to 2022, we observed an increase in companies disclosing climate-related information in Item 1A. Risk Factors, Item 1. Business, Item 7, MD&A and Item 8. Financial Statements. The majority of S&P 500 companies that mention climate-related information in their 10-K continued to do so in Item 1A. Risk Factors and/or Item 1. Business.
Overall, we found that when disclosures in an S&P 500 company’s 10-K included mention of climate-related information, the types of information included in the climate-related disclosures varied from company to company.
e S&P 500 companies disclosed net zero or carbon neutral commitments over scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by a certain date, whereas others also disclosed goals for certain or all scope 3 emissions categories.
Climate-related mentions in the financial statements
Most mentions of climate-related information in Item 8. Financial Statements fell within one of the following types of footnotes:
While less common, we also observed mention of climate-related matters in footnotes covering acquisitions, regulatory matters, segment information, stock-based compensation, critical audit matters and various others.
Example of a CAM related to Long-lived Asset Impairments and Re-evaluation of Useful Lives:
“…auditing the Company’s identification of impairment indicators and re-evaluation of useful lives involved a high degree of subjectivity, particularly given the Company’s decarbonization initiatives and shift towards clean energy platforms.”
GHG emissions-related mentions
From 2021 to 2022, we observed a 20% increase in the number of companies that mentioned scope 1, 2, and/or 3 GHG emissions, status, and/or objectives in their 10-K.
1. The data herein reflects the S&P 500 index from 2023 and the company’s most recent SEC Form 10-K as of June 30, 2023.