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Big Tech Companies Like Google, IBM Underreport Their Carbon Emission, Reveals New Study

Large technology firms such as SAP, IBM and Google are underreporting their greenhouse gas emissions, revealed new research published on Friday

Carbon Footprint

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A recent study released on Friday revealed that major technology companies including SAP, IBM and Google are indulged in misreporting their greenhouse gas emissions. Notably, the report came at a time when the investigative agencies have tightened scrutiny over the role of corporations in driving climate change. 

Major tech companies fail to show actual data: Study

The research published in the journal Nature Communications claimed that the major reputed companies showed inconsistency in declaring their carbon footprints. It is worth mentioning that the investigating agencies including, the government always encouraged these companies to follow the carbon footprint. Despite the repetitive warning by several agencies, major technology firms failed to report the actual data, noted the researchers.  

The researchers at the Technical University of Munich said that they have studied so-called scope 3 emissions that account for a large portion of corporate carbon footprints, such as business travel, employee commuting and how companies’ products are used. 

The researchers said they investigated at least 56 major tech companies of which half had failed to disclose their actual carbon emission to the concerned authority. 

"Some companies — such as Google’s parent Alphabet — were found to have been consistent in how they reported their carbon footprint, but excluded some emissions that should have been counted," said Christian Stoll, one of the authors engaged in the study. 

Tech firms need to improve their carbon emissions: Experts

According to the researchers, companies such as IBM had reported their carbon emission as per their audience and also excluded a major criterion that falls under the most carbon-emitting factor. Meanwhile, when the Associated Press (AP) tried to connect with Google and IBM for their response, they did not respond to their emails and calls. The authors suggested ways in which companies can improve their emissions reporting. Meanwhile, the senior manager of corporate greenhouse gas emissions at nonprofit business research firm Ceres, Laura Draucker said she agreed with the conclusion of the research and added the tech companies need to improve a lot in terms of carbon emission.

"However, we cannot wait for perfect data," said Draucker, who wasn’t involved in the study. "Companies can use estimates and screening tools to identify hot spots for climate risk along their value chain, and they can set goals and take actions now to meet those goals — while at the same time, working to improve data collection and quality."

(With inputs from AP)

(Image: Unsplash)

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