CRed- Climate Reporting as Instrument for CO₂ Reduction

Start of Project 10/2018
End of Project 12/2021

The project „Climate Reporting as Instrument for CO2 Reduction (CRed)” analyses the contribution of climate reporting to CO2 reductions and enables recommendations to improve climate reporting and help implementing a carbon neutral economy. The project is jointly conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, the Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen, the University of Hamburg, the University of Kassel, the WWF Germany, and the Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands). It is divided into three working packages. Working package 1 illuminates the status quo of climate reporting. The analysis focuses whether and how mandatory and voluntary climate reporting is associated with changes in corporate CO2 emissions and with changes in investor reactions to disclosed climate data. Working package 2 takes the investor’s perspective on climate change reporting. The analysis will help to better understand the relevance of climate data in the investment decision-making process with the goal of presenting re­commendations on how to improve the use of this data. In working package 3, the project analyses the influence of different designs of climate reporting on managerial decision-making and thus also takes the corporate perspective on climate reporting. 
Scientific publications, policy briefs and management summaries inform the public, corporations and investors about the results.

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Project results

Our results showed that (1) company-related information on climate-related issues contributes to the reduction of information asymmetries and is therefore important for information efficiency; (2) mandatory company-related disclosure of GHG emissions leads to significantly stronger emission reductions of affected companies compared to voluntary disclosure; (3) company-related GHG emissions are included in company valuations, with companies with particularly high emissions showing lower market values.

We further identified five areas of conflict that slow down the integration of climate data into investment processes: (1) internal priorities, (2) short-term vs. long-term perspective, (3) data collection, (4) data format, (5) chicken-and-egg problem between demand and supply.

Finally, we showed that managers tend to invest more in GHG-reducing measures when there is a requirement to report CO2 emissions, the number of the company's investors who consider information about the company's CO2 emissions in their decision-making is high, and when the investments have a financial impact on the company. In addition, personal attitudes, preferences and values also play a role.

Main Findings

  • Lack of comparability and consistency in current climate reporting.
  • Climate risks are increasingly considered in decisions.
  • Mandatory climate reporting has an impact on companies' CO2 reduction.
  • The concrete design of climate reporting is crucial.
  • Personal values can influence the decision in favour of CO2 reduction.


Atalay, N., Conzelmann, A., Hahn, R., McClellan, A. (2020):
Hemmnisse der Integration von E(SG)-Daten in Investmentprozesse. Policy-Brief des BMBF-Projekts „CRed“

Bauckloh, T., Klein, C., Pioch, T., Schiemann, F. (2021):
Under Pressure? The Link between Mandatory Climate Reporting and Firms’ Carbon Performance. Organization & Environment.

Schiemann, F. et al. (2019):
Verpflichtende klimabezogene Unternehmens-Berichterstattung als Mittel zur Reduzierung von CO2-Emissionen. Policy-Brief der Wissenschaftsplattform Sustainable Finance und des BMBF-Projekts „CRed“.