The impact of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
By Mark Hillsdon
One of the challenges to implementing TCFD, says Christine Sobieski, has been the central concept of scenario analysis, a forward looking risk assessment that encourages businesses to think about all the possible impacts of climate change on their operations.
Thomä describes scenario analysis as the “crux of the recommendations … (it) focusses the conversation on one specific question, which is how your business model compares to a two-degree scenario”.
The other big issue that businesses implementing the recommendations are facing is how the information on disclosures is included in their existing reporting structure. Integration is key, says Pigott, with climate change disclosure not simply an appendix, but something which is a part of existing annual reports.
“Traditional financial reports have always been backwards looking,” says Messenger. “Now it's saying it's not just about what's happened in the last few years, but how do you see yourself being positioned in 20 or 30 years’ time.” It’s only by doing this, he says, that businesses will be able to address the huge changes that could impact upon them, from increasing resource scarcity to the effects of a carbon tax.
Understanding the impact and influence of shareholders is becoming increasingly important, with boards increasingly held to account on the environmental performance of a company by well-informed shareholders. Increased transparency and information will help boards engage with investors on the resilience of their strategy and avoid disputes at AGMs.