Four Irish companies - Kingspan, ESB, AIB and Accenture - have been named on this year's A List by CDP, the EU-funded charity which runs the global environmental reporting system. 

The list includes the companies leading on environmental transparency and action, based on their annual disclosure through CDP's Climate Change questionnaire.

It also includes the likes of AstraZeneca, HP, Mars, and Toyota.

CDP is a global non-profit that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests.

It measures environmental impact of companies on behalf of 515 leading global investors representing $106 trillion in assets. 

The number of companies reaching the A List rose 50% globally to 312 this year, which CDP said showed that the Covid-19 crisis had not diminished how seriously companies and investors are taking sustainability issues.

Home builder Glenveagh Properties also received a B rating on the CDP list - the highest ranked Irish housebuilder this year. 

"This rating demonstrates our commitment to being Ireland's most sustainable housebuilder", the company said. 

"We recognise that our developments must be affordable not only in the economic sense, but also in terms of their environmental impact. All the houses and apartments we deliver have an A energy rating and we have reduced our environmental footprint through the use of electric vehicles, minimising waste and using recycled materials on site," it added. 

The full CDP Ireland results will be published next February, with over 80% of the top 30 Irish publicly quoted companies by market capitalisation reporting to CDP, as well as several large public sector companies.

Shane O'Reilly, Chairman of the CDP Ireland Network, said it was a tremendous achievement for four Irish companies to obtain A List status this year, and showed how seriously Irish corporates are taking their environmental obligations. 

"There is increasing recognition that companies who fail to disclose their environmental impact will be at a competitive disadvantage, given the importance of the issue of climate change to their investors, customers and employees," Shane O'Reilly said. 

"Despite the challenges of Covid, the CDP Ireland Network is growing from strength to strength and it is exciting that we will have 17 new Irish companies responding when we publish the full CDP Ireland report next February," he added.

CPD noted that while there has been a big increase in the A List this year, it still only represents a minority of companies. 

74% of companies scored by CDP achieved D-C scores, meaning they are only just starting their environmental journey and becoming aware of how environmental issues impact their business. 

It said that even more concerning is the more than 11,900 of companies that were marked with an F for failing to disclose data despite being requested to by investors or their customers. 

"These companies are expected to face increasing pressure to demonstrate they are taking environmental risks seriously," CDP said.