Report Report: Timber, trends and TCFD
A round-up of recent reports on sustainable business and clean technology.
The Report Report is a monthly wrap-up of recent research on sustainable business and clean technology produced by Corporate Eco Forum, a by-invitation membership organization comprised of large, global companies that demonstrate a serious commitment at the senior executive level to sustainability as a business strategy issue.
2019 Timber Scorecard (WWF) scores 122 U.K. brands on their sustainable timber sourcing policies and performance. The report finds that 48 percent of the companies evaluated did not disclose their policies or performance on sustainable timber. However, 35 percent of companies evaluated received high scores on their sustainable timber sourcing policies and performance, including IKEA, Kimberly-Clark and Marks & Spencer.
Climate Change and Land (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) examines links between climate change, desertification, land degradation, food security and terrestrial ecosystems. Select key findings include:
- Human use directly affects more than 70 percent of the global, ice-free land surface.
- The land surface air temperature has risen nearly twice as much as the global average temperature since the pre-industrial period.
- Human-managed land emits about a quarter of global GHG emissions every year, including 13 percent of CO2 and 44 percent of methane.
- People currently use one quarter to one third of land’s potential net primary production for food, feed, fiber, timber and energy.
Climate Strategy Assessments for the U.S. Electric Power Industry: 2019 Update (Ceres) provides a climate scenario analysis framework to help investors and companies assess climate change-related risks and opportunities in the U.S. electric power sector. The report reviews developments since the release of the 2018 framework, including investor interest, the publication of the IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and commitments made by companies to reduce emissions.
Driving A Shared, Electric, Autonomous Mobility Future (Rocky Mountain Institute) evaluates how different drivers — including policy, economics, infrastructure and behavioral norms — are shaping the future of mobility in China, India and the United States. The report also offers recommendations for accelerating the adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles, and shared mobility services.
Global Trends in Climate Change Litigation: 2019 Snapshot (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy) provides an overview of trends and developments in climate change litigation from May 2018 to May 2019. The report finds that more than 75 percent of climate change cases were filed in the United States.
Made for the Future (HSBC) analyzes survey responses from 2,500 global businesses to provide insight into how companies are investing to prepare for future social, economic and environmental trends. Key findings include:
- 57 percent of businesses surveyed plan to increase expenditure on sustainability.
- 69 percent stated they would support their workforce to reduce impact on the environment.
- 24 percent plan to use sustainability to help them recruit top talent.
- 60 percent plan to introduce or increase flexible working practices.
- 43 percent plan to increase spending on employee well-being.
Megatrends: The Forces Shaping Our Future (BlackRock) lays out five megatrends that will shift the future global economy. The five megatrends include the following:
- Technological breakthrough
- Demographics and social change
- Rapid urbanization
- Climate change and resource scarcity
- Emerging global wealth
Melting Point (CDP) assesses the world’s 20 largest steel companies based on their business readiness for a low carbon transition. The report gave the highest scores to SSAB, ArcelorMittal, Hyundai Steel and Tata Steel.
The Money Trees: The Role of Corporate Action in the Fight Against Deforestation (CDP) analyzes disclosures from 306 companies with high impact on forests to better understand the state of corporate awareness of deforestation risk and action to remove deforestation from commodity supply chains. Key findings include:
- 70 percent of 1,500 companies with high impact on forests failed to report critical forests related information requested by investor shareholders or purchasing organizations in 2018.
- 29 percent of reporting companies do not include forest-related issues in their risk assessments. However, of those that do, 92 percent identify substantial risks.
- 75 percent did not report the potential financial impact of deforestation.
- 24 percent of reporting companies have yet to begin removing deforestation from identified commodities within supply chains.
- 76 companies reported business opportunities valued at $26.8 billion, more than half (55 percent) of which are highly likely or virtually certain to transpire.
Solar Means Business 2018 (Solar Energy Industries Association) ranks companies across the United States based on their installed on-site and off-site solar capacity in 2018. The top 10 are:
- Apple: 393.3 MW
- Amazon: 329.8 MW
- Target: 242.4 MW
- Walmart: 208.9 MW
- Switch: 179 MW
- Google: 142.9 MW
- Kaiser Permanente: 140 MW
- Prologis: 126.3 MW
- Solvay: 81.4 MW
- 10.Fifth Third Bank: 80 MW
TCFD: An Update on Corporate Disclosure Following the Second Status Report (Datamaran) analyzes financial reports from financial services companies who support the TCFD recommendations to better understand how the recommendations are influencing their disclosure practices. Key findings include:
- The number of financial services TCFD supporters mentioning climate change with a “high emphasis” increased to 33 percent in 2019 — up from 14 percent in 2016.
- Climate change is predominantly discussed through a risk lens vs. an opportunity lens, with 54 percent of financial services TCFD supporters referring to climate change in relation to risk and 20 percent in relation to opportunity in 2018.
- The number of climate-related regulations and voluntary initiatives almost has doubled since 2014 (211 between 2009 and 2013 vs. 418 between 2014 and 2018).
- The implementation of some strategic TCFD recommendations across all sectors has been absent. For example, only two companies made any mention of a 1.5 C scenario in their financial reports.
Wells, Wires, and Wheels (BNP Paribas Asset Management) uses a new metric — Energy Return on Capital Invested — to compare the economics of using oil to power gasoline and diesel vehicles vs. using wind and solar electricity to power electric vehicles. The report finds it would cost up to seven times more to get the same amount of mobility from gasoline as from new renewables in tandem with EVs over the next 25 years.