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20 June 2019

Top global companies see real climate change impacts on horizon

A recent analysis of corporate disclosures, submitted to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures—established in 2015 by the Financial Stability Board at the behest of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors—from a wide-ranging group of nearly 7,000 leading companies and banks showed a rising trend of concern over how climate change will impact their business in the near future. The analysis found that 73% of the reporting companies had board-level oversight of climate-related risks, with fossil fuels industry companies leading the pack at 90% of companies with board-level oversight and services industry companies rounding out the pack with 62%. The analysis further divided the group of respondents according to market cap, separating the top 500 companies according to market cap. This group of 500 companies showed an even greater level of accountability, with an average of 85%.

The analysis then moved beyond the question of mere board-level oversight to considering how climate change-related issues impact the strategy of these companies and banks. The results here are striking for the implication that corporate, business-driven actors are now seeing the very real threat of climate-related risks pose to their business and the responsibility this requires them to take to serve their share-holders. Here the average among all 6,937 companies was 72%, with European companies leading the group with over 83% of companies accounting for climate-related risks in their strategies, and a striking 96.2% of the top 500 companies reporting climate-related considerations in their strategies.

The full analysis also addresses the means these companies employ to prepare for these challenges as well as the metrics and targets they use to track the development of these factors.

Read more about the analysis at the CDP’s website