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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Investors demand climate risk disclosures from over 700 companies

A group of investors with nearly $10trn (£8.9trn) of assets has today launched a campaign demanding hundreds of companies disclose their exposure to climate change.

Companies urged to improve transparency on climate risk ©iStock

HSBC Global Asset Management and Cathay Financial Holdings are among the investors urging firms to report through the environmental disclosure platform CDP.

A total of 707 companies are being targeted, including Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Amazon, Volvo, Alibaba, Qantas Airways and palm oil firm Genting Plantations Bhd.

They have been selected for their “high environmental impact”, and lack of transparency on issues like climate change, water security and deforestation.

“Investors need consistent, comparable and relevant metrics that are easy to access, compare and benchmark,” said CDP investor initiatives global director, Emily Kreps.

“Investors are asking for this information and using it for corporate engagement, selecting stocks and building investment products.”

Today’s launch is part of CDP’s 2019 Non-Disclosure Campaign. Firms targeted last year were more than twice as likely to disclose information than those that were not.

The industry under most pressure to improve its climate change disclosures this year is the services sector, followed by manufacturing and fossil fuels.

Manufacturing, retail and fossil fuels are the most targeted sectors for water security. For deforestation, it’s retail, food, beverage and agriculture, and manufacturing.

A total of 546 companies are being urged to improve their transparency on climate change, with 166 targeted for water security, and 115 for deforestation.

The US is home to the most companies scrutinised by the campaign, accounting for 20%, closely followed by Australia on 16%.

“Climate change, deforestation and water security are critical challenges that require immediate action,” said Sophia Cheng, chief investment officer at Cathay Financial Holdings.

“Investors can play an important role in encouraging companies to disclose information – this campaign should improve corporate transparency and help investors better manage these environmental risks and opportunities.” 

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