PRESS RELEASE: EDGI Releases Report on Carbon Emissions by US Corporations

The Environmental Data & Governance Initiative’s analysis of the most recent EPA data (2020) shows the top ten companies in terms of direct emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the top ten in terms of supplying fuels that produce GHGs when combusted

The Environmental Data & Governance Initiative Releases Report on Carbon Emissions by US Corporations

Today, the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) releases its report, Owning Up: A Tool to Measure US Carbon Emissions by Corporations. The report analyzes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions tracked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) for 2020, the most recent year data is available.  

Under the GHGRP, facilities that either directly emit or supply GHGs are required to estimate their carbon emissions each year. Facilities reporting GHGs are also required to provide information about who they’re owned by–the share each parent company has in the facility. 

Using this publicly-available information, EDGI determined not just which specific facilities, but which companies, reported the most GHGs in 2020. Notable findings include:

  • Ten companies account for over 20% of all direct emissions of GHGs. Fifty account for half of such emissions. 
  • 56% of direct emissions of GHGs in the US in 2020 came from facilities that are primarily classified as “fossil fuel electric power generation.”
  • For example, the emissions from the largest direct emitter, a coal-fired power plant in Alabama, are equivalent to the annual emissions from over 3,500,000 vehicles. 

Sara Wylie, report author, Environmental Data & Governance Initiative member, and associate professor at Northeastern University, said:

“There are no limits placed on greenhouse gas emissions under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. Nothing is preventing companies from externalizing costs onto people and the environment through their emissions. The Greenhouse Gas tool uses EPA’s own data from greenhouse gas emitters and suppliers to summarize emissions by parent company. Making EPA’s data available and easily accessible is an important starting point in order to hold these companies accountable and move toward passing improved legislation in the future.” 

Read the report and learn about the data tool.

CONTACT: Report authors are available for interview. To set up media interviews or for other inquiries, please contact Shannan Lenke Stoll, ShannanStoll.edgi at gmail dot com.