Azim Premji
Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro, one of the five companies that has made it to the list of CDP's climate friendly firms. Reuters

Five Indian companies have made it to a list of 187 climate performance leaders who are adopting climate-friendly measures in their businesses.

Most of the firms listed are from Europe, the US and Japan.

Prepared by the CDP — an international not-for-profit organisation — at the behest of 767 investors representing more than a third of the world's invested capital, CDP is the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information, according to the Times of India.

Together, the companies have reduced their total (absolute) emissions by 33 million metric tons in the past reporting year, "equivalent to turning London's car owners into cyclists for two-and-a-half years" according to the report.

Paul Simpson, chief executive officer of CDP, while praising the firms for their efforts, said businesses and governments must raise their climate ambition in the face of unrelenting climate change. "The data shows that there is neither an excuse nor the time for lethargy."

The Indian companies that made it to the list — CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014 — are: Essar Oil, Larsen & Toubro, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro.

The India 2014 report titled "Indian companies decouple business growth from carbon emissions" reveals that 24% of the companies have reduced their absolute emissions while driving business growth and profitability. An additional 26% have reduced their emissions intensity while driving business growth and profitability.

Energy efficiency is the key means by which companies are acting on climate change.

Innovation is at work at these firms. For example, the Eco Energy tool at Wipro uses meters, controllers and sensors at the sites to enable collection of energy-related information on near real-time basis to detect and act on energy savings and efficiency improvement opportunities.

At Tata Chemicals, conventional soda ash production using the monohydrate process results in some amount of soda ash in the waste purge streams.

These waste streams are usually pumped to surface evaporation ponds where tailings were deposited. The innovation at the plant now captures and recycles about 85% of the water and soda ash.

Companies are driving carbon emissions reduction primarily through process energy efficiency initiatives, notes the report.

Indian companies are expecting to nearly double their annual carbon savings from 2.5 million metric tons CO2e in 2013 to 4.8 million metric tons CO2e in 2014.