The Business Implications of Climate Change
23 August 2007 at 3:42 pm
A new survey has found that while almost all companies reported on climate change in their sustainability reports, on closer examination companies reported far more on potential opportunities rather than financial risks for their companies from climate change.
The findings form a report called Reporting the Business Implications of Climate Change in Sustainability Reports. The survey catalogues types of reporting on climate change and was conducted by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and KPMG’s Global Sustainability Services.
The survey revealed widespread reporting of basic information on climate change, such as company greenhouse gas emissions and the acknowledgement of climate change as an important issue. Nearly half of the reports included a statement from the company chairman or CEO on climate change.
The survey says that the low rate of reporting on risks from climate change may be because companies see climate change not only as a threat but also as an opportunity for new products, services and trading.
The survey says a surprising two thirds of companies reported new business from climate change and nearly half reported involvement in emissions trading.
However is says that in comparison to opportunities companies reported little on the business risks of climate change. Most commonly reported – about 20%- was the risk of increases in the cost of energy from measures to address climate change.
It says few companies reporter the risk of legal action such as class-action law suits related to climate change and almost no companies reported on risks or business disruptions caused by extreme weather events such as floods, storms or droughts.
The survey says risks could be perceived to be beyond current business planning horizons, or companies may not have identified, explored or quantified and therefore they may not be in a position to report on risks.
Download the KPMG report at http://www.kpmg.nl/site.asp?id=40378&process_mode=mode_doc&doc_id=44904