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Unilever welcomes recommendations on the financial disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures announced its recommendations in a report today.

The report suggests that voluntary, decision-useful, climate-related disclosures be made as part of mainstream financial filings. This, says the Task Force, will help organisations identify and disclose information needed by investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters to assess and price climate-related risks and opportunities.

The Financial Stability Board established the TCFD in December 2015. Its recommendations are the result of the first global, industry-led effort in this area and are being issued today for public consultation.

Unilever says it will be working towards adopting the recommendations and hopes others will do the same. Unilever’s CFO, Graeme Pitkethly, is Vice Chair of the TCFD.

Unilever’s full reaction to the report is below

For business, assessing and managing risk is crucial. It’s just as important for the stability of our financial systems. So we welcome the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

Ultimately, these recommendations will enable the markets (companies, investors, insurers and lenders) to more easily evaluate and price climate-related exposure and opportunities.

Climate change is already affecting companies – both through the direct impacts of steadily rising global temperatures and through the policies that governments around the world adopt in response. If markets are to operate efficiently we must be transparent, to help investors make better decisions for the long term.

We know that transparency is increasingly important to our consumers too, particularly millennials. They want to know and trust the companies behind the brands they buy, and understand their purpose and values. We have already seen the impact of this at Unilever, where our purpose-driven brands are growing 30% faster than the rest of the business.

We will be working towards adopting the recommendations and we encourage others to do the same.

The recommendations are practical. They can be adopted by all organisations, across sectors and geographies, and be included in their financial regulatory filings. They cover four core areas – Governance, Strategy, Risk Management and Metrics and Targets – and incorporate disclosures on the potential impacts of different future scenarios. With this information, financial markets will be able to draw upon comparable and consistent data and make better informed judgements on risks and opportunities, for example, around the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Separately, we have seen more than 1200 companies committing to implement a price on carbon. And 400 investors with $25 trillion of assets under management are participating in the Investor Platform for Climate Action. So we are seeing momentum, and hope that all businesses will be forward thinking and adopt these recommendations too.

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