November 29, 2023
(1) 釐定報告範圍 披露標準要求組織釐定報告範圍，以確保組織涵蓋業務帶來的所有氣候影響。這包括要求組織在重大能源消耗上作出清晰分明的披露，並特別留意範圍3的披露。氣候相關風險方面，擬議披露標準在識別、評估和管理這些風險方面，為企業和組織提供相關指引。透過結構化的風險評估框架，企業可以更有效地為應對氣候變化帶來的挑戰。
(2) 有效監察進展 擬議標準亦建議組織披露其減排目標和實現這些目標的進展情況，一來表明組織對可持續發展的承諾，同時也允許持份者評估組織所制定的氣候戰略是否有效。對於潛在投資者而言，這些資料也將是衡量公司投資價值的重要工具。另外，擬議標準亦為溫室氣體排放的測量和報告方面提供指引，當中強調一致性和可比較性，確保所獲得的數據準確和可靠。披露標準提供計算排放量的詳細方法，以提高報告數據的透明度和可靠性。
(1) 增加透明度 透明度上升，將能在持份者、投資者、客戶乃至更廣泛的社區之間建立信任。通過將氣候相關風險評估納入報告之中，企業和投資者可因應業務對地球的影響而作出更明智的決策，一來組織可以防範與氣候相關的風險，同時也能夠乘著低碳經濟轉型的趨勢捉緊新機遇。GRI的氣候披露標準將相容於現時不同國家所的國際框架，包括ESRS、TCFD等，在以一致性為基礎的系統上，評估企業管治亦可以保持一致。這有助保持氣候報告方法的連貫性，令組織更容易遵守嚴格的報告要求。
(2) 競爭優勢 合規的公司對具有環保意識的投資者、客戶和合作夥伴更具吸引力。氣候行動是創建未來價值的戰略目標，將氣候因素納入組織管治可以確保其運營的永續性。準確的排放測量和報告需要以強力的數據收集和驗證過程支援，企業在收集全面數據時亦可能面臨挑戰，尤其是在處理複雜的供應鏈和範圍3的龐大網路的情況，有效的數據核查機制對於確保報告資訊的一致性至關重要，包括投資數據管理系統，員工培訓，以及聘請如THINK ESG等外部專家進行驗證，組織需要儘早權衡這些成本與潛在收益。與全球氣候變化所帶來的衝擊和代價相比，納入這些標準和機制的成本可以說是微不足道。
本文由THINK ESG LIMITED ESG研究實習員Aaron Turnquest撰寫。
Title: Navigating the Future - Understanding the Newly Proposed GRI Climate Disclosure Standards
The twenty-first has been defined by increasing environmental awareness and corporate responsibility, the business landscape is experiencing a significant shift towards sustainability. One of the major developments in this area is the new proposed Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Climate and Energy Transition Disclosure Standards. This proposal aims to standardize the reporting of climate-related information by organizations,providing a comprehensive framework for a company's commitment to be judged on.
Why do we need it: As of late worldwide has seen the effects of climate change and the impact it has on stakeholders, investors, consumers, and regulators. Governments are demanding greater transparency on how businesses are addressing environmental challenges. The GRI are taking action by proposing new climate disclosure standards that will allow organizations to communicate their environmental risks and opportunities in a consistent and comparable way.
Key Elements of the Proposed GRI Climate Disclosure Standards:
1. The standards require a scope of reporting that ensures that organizations cover all aspects of their climate impact. This includes a requirement for them to have a clear breakdown of significant energy consumption, with special attention to a scope 3 view. Climate-related risks have far-reaching implications for businesses. The proposed standards provide guidance for organizations in terms of identifying, assessing, and managing these risks. By providing a structured framework for risk assessment, businesses can better prepare for the challenges posed by climate change.
2. The GRI standards recommend that organizations disclose their emission reduction targets and progress towards achieving them. This demonstrates a commitment to sustainability while also allowing stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness of an organization's climate strategy. This will also be an invaluable resource for future investors who will no doubt want to use this data in the company evaluation. Accurate and reliable data acts as the baseline line to meaningful climate disclosures. The proposed standards guide the measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, and will emphasize consistency and comparability. This includes detailed methodologies for calculating emissions, promoting transparency and reliability in the reported data.
The public comment time frame will be open until 29 February 2024, with the final standard to be published before the end of 2024.
Benefits of Implementing GRI Climate Disclosure Standards:
1. Increase transparency The transparency will build trust among stakeholders, investors, customers, and the wider community. By incorporating climate-related risk assessments into their reporting, businesses and investors can make more informed decisions in regards to their impact on the planet. This will allow the organization to safeguard against climate-related risks but also capitalize on emerging opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The proposed GRI Climate Disclosure Standards will align the existing international frameworks used by different countries, like (ESRS), (TCFD) to a few. On one system grounded in consistency that will make assessing companies based on their governance consistent. This facilitates a coherent approach to climate reporting, making it easier for organizations to comply with stricter reporting requirements.
2. Gain competitive advantages Companies that comply are better positioned to attract environmentally conscious investors, customers, and partners. Climate action is a strategic endeavor for future value creation. The integration of climate consideration into the governance of organizations can ensure a future for their operations. Accurate measurement and reporting of emissions require robust data collection and verification processes are still issues that even the largest companies still face. Organizations may face challenges in gathering comprehensive data, especially when dealing with complex supply chains and vast networks of scope 3 factors. The implementation of effective data verification mechanisms is vital to ensuring a consistent basis for reported information. The initial costs associated with implementing the standards is a small price to pay in comparison to the price that Hong Kong has paid for example as a result of climate change. This includes investments in data management systems, staff training, and engaging external experts like THINK ESG for verification. Organizations need to weigh these costs against the potential benefits sooner than later.
Conclusion: The proposed GRI Climate Disclosure Standards represent a pivotal step in advancing corporate sustainability reporting. As we all must evolve with the impacts of climate change, these standards provide a structured framework for transparent communication of climate-related risks and opportunities. With the mass adoption of these standards, all businesses will meet the growing demands for greater transparency but also position themselves as champions for change.
In a company's journey through the complexities of climate disclosure, they must view this as a strategic opportunity to create future value, and contribute to a more sustainable world. The GRI Climate Disclosure Standards serve as a guide for businesses on this transformative journey, guiding them towards a future where environmental responsibility is a fundamental pillar of corporate success.
This article was written by Aaron Turnquest, ESG Research Intern at THINK ESG LIMITED.