The firms that have scored badly failed to disclose information or did not respond at all include famous names such as Domino's Pizza, Wetherspoon, Bovis Homes, Cairn Energy, Wood Group, National Express, Eddie Stobart and the London Stock Exchange.
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Others include Dixons, Halfords, JD Sports, ITV, Moneysupermarket.com, Babcock and AG Barr, maker of Irn-Bru. There are also less well-known but influential finance and manufacturing firms such as Jupiter Fund Management, Rathbones, Renishaw and Victrex, and a host of others.
"There is an urgent need for those companies which are failing to address the problem of climate change, or doing so only half-heartedly, to face up to the threat their inaction poses not only to their own business, but the planet as a whole," said Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland.
"The poorest-performing firms and industry laggards need to shape up, change their ways, and quickly become part of the solution."
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a not-for-profit organisation working on behalf of 722 investors who CDP say have more than £50 trillion in assets, analysed the 2013 climate performance of the UK's leading FTSE 350 companies. Its report seeks to encourage progress by highlighting those doing better than most.
But it also reveals those doing the worst in reporting and reducing carbon emissions. Eleven companies are given the lowest E rating for their climate performance, with 45 rated as D.
CDP said at least those companies had begun the journey to a low-carbon future by engaging in the process. Thirty-nine firms scored badly because they failed to disclose enough for their performance to be assessed.
As many as 90 major companies failed to make any response to CDP's survey, despite growing pressure on them to act. CDP chief executive Paul Simpson said: "These companies clearly have made a decision that it is better not to respond and therefore there is something they are not happy to see revealed. They are ignoring a very large group of their investors."
The CDP report concluded that the greatest climate change risks for the 350 UK companies were global, as 69% of them had operations spread across 145 countries. Yet 13% reported no risks at all, suggesting climate change had not been integrated into their business strategies.
Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, thought it was remarkable that so many household names "can't be bothered" to do much to help reduce climate pollution.
He said: "As investors and pension-holders get more and more conscious of the risks of high-carbon investment, companies which have their head in the sand over carbon are clearly going to be in trouble."
Companies defended themselves, however, by pointing out they are trying harder and getting better. "What gets measured gets managed, so it's important businesses recognise the benefits of carbon reporting," said Rhian Kelly, environment director at the Confederation of British Industry.
How the companies responded
Domino's Pizza, which was graded as E on climate performance, accepted that its score was low. "We are taking steps to improve on our environmental impact going forward," said the company's new corporate social responsibility manager, Angie Lawrence.
"Domino's realises the importance of this issue and is taking a more strategic view in order to reduce energy, emissions and waste from within the business.
"We will include more information on our strategy and results in our annual report next spring."
Other companies rated as E made similar promises. The engineering company, Renishaw, pointed out that it was putting carbon reduction and measurement systems in place that would improve its score in future CDP reports.
The polymer manufacturer, Victrex, said that its forthcoming annual report would show the enhancement of its sustainability strategy.
The investment management firm, Rathbones, argued it was ahead of the companies that didn't respond, and was working hard to reduce its carbon emissions.