Governance, risk management and reporting

Businesses face an ever-increasing plethora of climate-change and sustainability global rules, expectations and initiatives.

It is therefore crucial to have robust governance and risk management arrangements to deal with these appropriately. Boards need to have a clear understanding and appreciation of sustainable finance risks to their organisation and its customers, with clear roles, responsibilities and oversight arrangements in place.

Risk management processes also need to be properly calibrated in respect of sustainable finance and climate-change risks, with robust risk governance, reporting and escalation practices.

Furthermore, there are also a growing variety of reporting frameworks businesses may need to comply with, including for example the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD. Hundreds of businesses spanning industries globally have already pledged their support. Consideration must therefore be given to business planning going forward, and to the legal and compliance implications of doing so, as well as the risks of failing to do so.

Companies must also be alive to the fact that there is an increasing likelihood of mandatory disclosure frameworks. Most recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the opening of a comment period regarding climate change disclosures. The submissions are to be used in developing future guidance and proposals on ESG issues. In a similar vein, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published final rules and guidance promoting better climate-related financial disclosures, with TCFD-aligned disclosures being applied on a comply or explain basis to UK premium listed commercial companies. The UK government has also announced its intention to make TCFD-aligned disclosures mandatory across the economy.

Our global multi-disciplinary team can support across these important areas – acting as your business advisor for legal, regulatory, risk and compliance matters. We can also help you design and deliver regulatory change programmes – including assessing your current state, conducting gap analyses, and implementing programmes to deliver improvements and enhancements required.

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