Preview: environmental and climate disclosures in the UK for Green GB Week

Following the release of the very clear call to action stemming from the IPCC report “Global Warming of 1.5°C”, the beginning of Green GB Week comes at the perfect time to highlight the concrete solutions that are available for businesses and the public to contribute to lowering global emissions and keeping the world on a safe track.

The first-ever week designed to raise awareness on the opportunities of a low-carbon economy is putting clean growth in the spotlight, highlighting the benefits for businesses and the wider public that low-carbon initiatives and activities are already providing.

A crucial part of this week is the focus on financing the low-carbon economy, the big question of how to shift capital towards environmentally sustainable business activities. 

CDSB supports this focus area, helping companies to disclose high quality environmental information via mainstream reports and thus providing investors and other stakeholders with the information they need to make sustainable investments. 

At the end of November, CDSB and CDP will be releasing a key piece of research in this space, looking at the implementation of the EU Non-Financial Reporting (NFR) Directive across Europe, to understand the effectiveness of the existing regulation in allowing companies to provide the right information to investors, in a timely and consistent way.

To celebrate Green GB Week, we are today releasing a preview of the data from the UK companies analysed, to show the progress on corporate disclosure of environmental and climate change information in the UK. 

The research analysed the annual reports of 16 UK companies, with a combined market capitalisation of over €1 trillion, focusing on the information disclosed against the requirements of the transposition of the NFR Directive.
The report found that:

  • While 75% of UK companies include a description of policies related to environmental or climate change matters, only 63% include information on the due diligence processes implemented in relation to environmental or climate change matters;
  • 69% have at least one target for non-financial information, such as GHG emissions, water or energy usage, energy efficiency, renewable energy, recycling and sustainable procurement;
  • 81% have Board oversight of climate or environmental matters, but only 50% have management oversight of the same matters.

The report, to be published next month, will provide an in-depth analysis of how UK companies compare to their EU peers, providing clear recommendations for policymakers and companies across Europe on how to provide better information to markets.