The Toyota Prius Hybrid
The Toyota Prius Hybrid - 
Listen To The Story


BOB MOON: Some of the biggest institutional investors in the world meet today to release results of a survey aimed at figuring out global warming's corporate winners and losers. The so-called "Carbon Disclosure Project" represents over 200 investors, including major state pensions funds and investment banks like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk.

SARAH GARDNER: Four years ago when this investor campaign polled the world's 500 biggest companies, the majority ignored it. This year, 72 percent responded, including Wal-Mart and Boeing.

The results confirm Corporate America is increasingly aware climate change will affect the economy and the bottom line.

Project coordinator Paul Dickinson says some companies, like GE and Toyota, are already chasing profits from greener products.

PAUL DICKINSON:"Major companies are making moves now to capitalize upon this opportunity. It's driven by climate change, rising energy prices and it's driven by a kind of meta-reality which is that we have a tremendous problem with greenhouse gas emissions. "

Still, less than half the companies surveyed this year are actively trying to reduce those emissions.

Dickinson says U.S. businesses would be foolish not to anticipate future regulation of greenhouse gases and strategize accordingly.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner