Almost three quarters (72%) of large and mid-cap companies worldwide do not acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their annual financial reports, according to the “KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2017” published recently. In most cases, disclosure of climate-related risk is either mandated or encouraged in these countries by the government, stock exchange or financial regulator. Of the minority that do acknowledge climate-related risk, only 4% provides investors with analysis of the potential business value at risk.
In terms of industries, companies in the Forestry & Paper, Chemicals, Mining and Oil & Gas sectors have the highest rates of acknowledging climate-related risk in their reporting. When looking specifically at the world’s 250 largest companies (G250), public acknowledgment of climate-related financial risk is more common but still far from universal. Around two thirds of G250 companies in the Retail (67%) and Oil & Gas (65%) industries acknowledge the risk but only around one third (36%) of major Financial Services firms do so.
KPMG’s Global Head of Sustainability Services, Mr. José Luis Blasco, said: “Our survey shows that, even among the world’s largest companies, very few are yet providing investors with adequate indications of value at risk from climate change. Our findings support the need for initiatives like the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) that aim to improve corporate disclosure of climate-related risk”.
Mr. Antonis Bargilly, Board Member of KPMG in Cyprus said that “failure to identify and manage climate risk is widely considered as a breach of a Board’s fiduciary duty. Investors are increasingly aware of the impact that “non-financial” topics can have on a business’s ability to build and protect value. As such, the recent regulatory requirement for large public interest entities to report on CSR issues here in Cyprus is considered as the first step towards the right direction”.
KPMG’s survey studied annual financial reports and corporate responsibility reports from the top 100 companies by revenue in each of 49 countries, including Cyprus (a total of 4,900 companies). KPMG’s survey also explored further trends in corporate responsibility reporting including reporting on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reporting on human rights and reporting on carbon reduction targets.