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SwissHoldings today held a workshop on climate-related reporting. It is the second event of the association in the current year, which focused on the topics ESG and Sustainable Finance. The aim of these meetings is to inform the members of the association about current developments as well as to promote the exchange of experiences

The effects of climate change are increasingly influencing the financial industry and the valuation of investments. At the same time, the shift to a green economy is opening up new growth and financing opportunities for companies. Various frameworks, such as that of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, better known as TCFD, support companies in terms of their strategies to adapt their business model to the new realities. They also provide the basis for companies’ disclosure of climate-related financial information. This is because companies are increasingly expected to report consistently on the risks and opportunities of climate change on their corporate operations.

Current momentum for reporting standardization
Guest speaker Christoph Baumann – Head of the Sustainable Finance Taskforce at the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters – emphasized at today’s workshop that the Federal Council welcomes the work done to date by the TCFD, as well as further efforts to implement these guidelines. More broadly, these guidelines would also be about making financial markets more efficient and better equipping economies to deal with climate change. For this reason, the Federal Council decided last year to make climate-related reporting by large Swiss companies mandatory. The reporting obligation is expected to take effect from 2024 for the 2023 financial year.

Also active in climate reporting are the IFRS Foundation and the World Economic Forum (WEF), as the second guest speaker at the meeting Oliver Schwab, Head of Technology at the WEF and member of the IFRS Foundation’s Technical Readiness Working Group, explained. At the workshop, he gave an overview of the relevant ongoing work of the two organizations and placed it in the overall context of international developments.

Holcim is already well advanced with regard to climate-related reporting
The third guest speaker, Antonio Carrillo, Global Head Climate and Energy at Holcim, went on to explain that Holcim is one of the world’s first companies to have set net zero targets for 2050, which have been validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). In general, the reduction of CO2 emissions represents the key for the company to continue to create long-term value.

Companies are recommended to closely involve the Board of Directors with regard to addressing climate-related opportunities and risks. In principle, the implementation of climate-related reporting should take place gradually. This is because the preparation of certain report contents is very complex and requires a great deal of experience. This applies, for example, to the quantification of short-, medium- and long-term scenarios. Also challenging is the calculation of indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling, which arise over the entire value chain of a company (so-called “Scope 3” category).

SwissHoldings advocates a principle-based anchoring of sustainability reporting
From SwissHoldings’ point of view, the transfer of international recommendations such as TCFD into Swiss legislation should be principle-based – whereby the “comply or explain” principle should be provided for. This principle gives companies the necessary leeway in the implementation of reporting. The association also advocates that the regulations for ESG reporting be designed according to principles comparable to those for financial reporting and in an internationally coordinated context. In addition, they should be appropriately graded according to the size, complexity, risk profile and structure of the business model, in particular.

For information:
Denise Laufer │ Member of the Executive Board SwissHoldings│ 076 407 02 48
Pascal Nussbaum │ Head of Communications & Public Affairs SwissHoldings│ 079 798 52 40

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