Companies urged to disclose climate strategies

Business | Tue 12 Sep | Author – Business & Finance

HSBC and East & Partners research shows that just over two-thirds (68%) of investors plan to up their game in low-carbon investments which will facilitate a more seamless switch to a clean-energy economy.

With climate change always a hot topic, companies are looking for more and more greener investments and business ventures. The sustainable financing report was conducted with over 1,000 companies and institutional investors globally. It was done over a four-week period and split over the four geographical areas of Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

The report showed the desire for low-carbon investment is strongest in Europe (97%) with the Americas not far behind (86%); Asia stands at 68%. The Middle East, at 19%, was the only region to show a decline in interest.

Right now, 53% of companies have a plan in place for tackling their environmental impact, with Europe setting the pace again at 84%, followed by the Americas (54%), Asia (43%) and the Middle East (28%). Yet only 43% disclose it. One of the major factors for this is the lack of clear competitive advantage for companies disclosing their environmental plans. With more pressure from global investors and regulations from governments and environmental groups, companies will disclose their plans more frequently, the study showed.

Daniel Klier, HSBC’s Group Head of Strategy and Global Head of Sustainable Finance, said: “The global transition to a low-carbon, clean-energy economy is now firmly underway, yet companies and their investors are clearly travelling at different speeds. If we are to direct the world’s capital towards low-carbon investment opportunities then we need to break through the barriers currently inhibiting its flows. This will require improvements in the availability, reliability and comparability of climate-related information. This demand will only get louder as the market gains a better understanding of how to use these metrics effectively.”