Climate-related disclosures increasing but more transparency needed, TCFD says
The number of companies that disclose information compliant with the TCFD framework has increased but their disclosure levels still fail to meet recommendations, according to the 2022 Status Report published by the task force.
The new research shows that in 2017-2021, the average number of companies reporting TCFD-aligned information across the 11 recommended disclosures increased by 26 percentage points. The number of companies reporting on climate-related risks or opportunities was up by 33 percentage points in 2021.
But despite an uplift in the number of companies adopting the TCFD framework, the levels of disclosure fall short of aligning with all 11 recommendations, according to the report. The research reveals that 80 percent of companies’ disclosures are in line with at least one of the recommendations, and 43 percent are in line with at least five.
European companies’ disclosures average 60 percent of the 11 recommended disclosures for 2021 reporting. This figure marks a 23 percentage-point increase since 2019.
There is slower uptake in North America, with the average number of companies disclosing in line with the framework at 29 percent for fiscal year 2021, up 12 percentage points in three years. The report notes that more than 60 percent of companies in the region disclose climate-related risks, with 45 percent of them also highlighting their impacts.
In the Asia-Pacific region, reporting across the 11 recommendations is seen at 36 percent of the assessed firms, up 11 percentage points since 2017.
The 2022 Status Report assesses publicly available reports of more than 1,400 firms from eight industries in five regions. It tracks the progress companies have made in the five years since the body launched its recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures in 2017. The framework is intended to provide clear instructions for businesses to include information on the climate-related material risks they face.
Klaas Knot, chair of the Financial Stability Board, which established the TCFD, says this year’s report demonstrates that the TCFD recommendations are providing the common ground for firms’ climate-related disclosures around the world. They provide a ‘strong foundation’ for the planned global baseline standard from the International Sustainability Standards Board, Knot adds.
Mary Schapiro, head of the TCFD secretariat and vice chair of global public policy at Bloomberg, says in a statement that although statistics reveal steady growth, further efforts are required in transparency.
‘While we are proud of the progress we’ve seen since 2017 in company disclosures, and in the adoption of TCFD by governments, standard-setters and regulators, these findings make it clear there is more work to be done to improve transparency as companies and investors assess their risks through the lens of climate change,’ she notes.