FTSE 100 stepping up climate action
The UK’s 100 largest listed companies are increasingly carrying out climate risk assessments and improving sustainable business practices, research from EcoAct has found.
In a report published last week, FTSE 100 firms are ranked for climate scenario analysis, science-based targets, aligning with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and other reporting frameworks.
Scores increased by 10-15% across these four key indicators over the last year, with telecoms giant BT coming out on top, followed by Marks & Spencer and Unilever.
There was also an increase in the number of companies using renewable energy, with the FTSE increasingly responding to shareholders’ concerns around climate change.
“We hope that by leading by example we can inspire others to take action,” said BT head of environmental sustainability, Gabrielle Ginér. “It is within our hands to catalyse carbon reduction throughout all sectors of the economy.”
The findings show that 19% of FTSE 100 companies now use climate scenario analysis, 20% use science-based targets, and 63% recognise reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative.
A total of 15% report in line with the TCFD, while a further 26% have committed to applying the taskforce’s recommendations in the future.
All of the electricity, gas and oil supply companies report alignment with the TCFD, compared with 66% of real estate investment trusts, 40% of banks and 38% of financial services firms.
Moreover, use of renewable energy has increased from 65% of firms to 73% over the last year, which is thought to reflect the falling costs of renewables and more companies responding to the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“We want companies to understand there are opportunities to be discovered for companies willing to embed climate change at the heart of their business strategy,” EcoAct UK chief executive, Mark Chadwick, said.
“More than that, climate disclosure is about future-proofing business models to ensure sustainable investment over short-term profits and, ultimately, longevity.”
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM