UK Makes Climate Risk Reporting Mandatory
In order for the UK to meet its ambitious net-zero targets by 2050, the country’s largest businesses, banks, and investors must place climate change at the centre of their decision-making processes. To achieve this, the government has announced that over 1,300 of the largest UK-registered companies and financial institutions will have to disclose climate-related financial information as of April 2022.
The decision is based on the work completed by the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), in which it is recommended that organisations incorporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risk metrics into their operations to increase transparency and efficiency across financial markets for more stable and resilient economies.
What are climate-related risks?

Deforestation & biodiversity threats: With deforestation of the Amazon hitting its highest level since 2008 between August 2019 - July 2020, deforestation remains an incredibly prevalent problem. Organisations need to be aware of the involvement that they, and those within their supply chains, have in deforesting activities, including their connection to palm. Palm oil continues to be one of the major drivers of deforestation, with hundreds of acres of natural, biologically diverse forests destroyed for palm plantations every year.

Rising carbon emissions & climate impact: To reach the 2050 net-zero target, human-caused CO2 emissions need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels. As a result, companies worldwide need to be monitoring both their direct and indirect emission levels, including those produced by their partners, suppliers, distributors, investments, transportation, and other aspects of their supply chain to have a clear idea of the impact of their whole operation and business.

Water scarcity & productivity: Water is one of the key areas of focus for the UN’s SDGs. Water supply, sanitation, and hygiene are critical when it comes to assessing a business’ climate risk, which extends from working conditions, right through to water that is wasted in the production of commodities. Agricultural production is the most water intensive activity, consuming 70% of the world’s fresh water, so without climate risk consideration of this nature, the world’s water supply faces the risk of overexploitation very soon.

Social equality & exploitation: It is not just an impact on the environment that climate risk can cause, social inequality can also result from it. In 2016, 24.9 million people were victims of labour exploitation, with 1 in 4 of those being children. Businesses throughout the commodities and trade supply chains, from banks and insurers, to ship operators and farmers, should all be aware of the social conditions of those that they do business with. A bank financing a soya shipment, is just as liable and responsible for the welfare of those harvesting the soya, as the farmer himself. This also extends to forced labour, modern slavery, income inequality, and employee health and safety.
How can I retrieve and disclose this information?

With disclosure requirements on the horizon, questions around how to retrieve such data are arising. As a requirement that is very much in its infancy, gaining access to climate risk information is hard to come by, especially from a single, reliable, easily accessible source. And, for those 1,300 UK-based companies that must do so as of April 2022, the time to find the right tools to achieve this is minimal.

At Vasanda, our technology is built upon aggregated ESG data from multiple sources of both quantitative and qualitative data. Our cutting-edge solution, EcoSphere, provides end-to-end supply chain transparency for actionable ESG insights, enabling you to screen a trade, measure its impact, and evaluate the sustainability risks all in one place.

EcoSphere derives scores for equal-weighted E, S, and G factors at a transaction level and generates simple reports that are closely correlated with the physical process and journey of the commodity or asset being screened. With Vasanda’s scientific approach to analysing key datasets, users can easily ensure that they are aligned with emerging sustainability regulations.

December, 30 / 2021
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