Top Stories

October 12, 2017


KPMG: Nearly three quarters of companies still failing to acknowledge climate-related risks

A new report by KPMG reveals that 72% of large companies globally do not acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their annual financial reports, as recommended by the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). Based on a review of annual financial and CR reports of the top 100 companies by revenue in 49 countries, the survey reveals significant variations by region and industry. 88% of the top companies in Taiwan, 76% in France, 61% in South Africa, and 53% in the US acknowledge climate-related risks in their financial reports. However, of those that disclose climate-related risk, only 4% provide investors with analysis of the potential financial impact of climate risk through quantification or scenario modelling – another key recommendations by TCFD. Other key finding includes human rights being recognised as a corporate responsibility issue by 73% of companies. (Ethical Corporation; Business Green)


Asean banks need to raise the bar in sustainable finance, report says

While South East Asian’s banks have taken some steps to clean up their own operations, they are failing to shoulder responsibility for whom they lend money to, according to a new report by WWF and the National University of Singapore. Of the 34 banks in the study – which analysed public data on the leading banks in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore – only 13 consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks to apply only to their own businesses, while 21 recognised that the businesses they lend money to might harm the environment and society but did not disclose how they manage risks. Only 12 declared that climate change presented a risk for society and business. The report finds Singapore out in front, with DBS as the only one among the three Singapore banks studied to declare an intention to support the Sustainable Development Goals, and to have sector-specific policies for ESG risk. (Eco Business)


Report: Global ESG framework critical for investor interest

95% of institutional investors say they plan to engage with companies they invest in about issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a new S&P Global report. The survey notes that investors’ assessments of company’s ESG profiles have evolved from a simple measure of corporate responsibility to a key driver of an investor’s decision-making and that the role of intangible factors has dramatically increased in considering the value of companies. However, it also notes that the market currently lacks a standardised ESG framework for investors, companies, regulators and policy-makers to use a common terminology to identifying sector-specific ESG factors and accurately value long-term risks and opportunities. (Environmental Leader)


UK Government unveils sweeping strategy for deep emissions cuts across UK economy

The UK government has published its long-awaited Clean Growth Strategy promising deep cuts in CO2 across the economy. The plan includes significant focus on cutting greenhouse gases from Britain’s built environment as well as improving energy productivity in the private sector by at least 20% by 2030, including through an Industrial Energy Efficiency scheme and consultation on raising minimum standards of energy efficiency for rented commercial buildings. It also promises to invest £100 million in leading-edge carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and industrial innovation and to establish “a CCUS Council in partnership with industry” to deploy the technology and “maximise its industrial opportunity”. In light of a growing low emission vehicles sector, the government has also pledged a £1 billion investment to support the take up of electric vehicles (EVs) and another £80 million investment to build “the best EV charging networks in the world”. (Business Green)

Technology & Innovation

Renault’s new smartphone app enables EV owners to source renewables from the grid

French car manufacturer Renault has announced it has acquired a 25% stake in a Dutch start-up, electric vehicle (EV) charging specialists Jedlix, which will help launch a smartphone app that enables EV owners to map charging times to benefit from renewable energy and lower prices. The ‘Z.E Smart Charge’ app will launch in the Netherlands towards the end of the year, before being rolled out to other European countries in 2018. Users of the app indicate what charge level they need and what time they’ll be using their EV, after which the app will seek to source electricity when supply exceeds demand – to lower costs – and during periods where surplus renewable energy is entering the grid. Jedlix already offers a similar service for Tesla users, including an option for home charging, but the acquisition by Renault will see the start-up deliver a tailored app for Renault ZOE users. (edie)


Image Source: Zoe, Renault by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) at Wikimedia Commons. CC 4.0.