September 21

Are your Net Zero claims misleading?


Why Net Zero is not just a PR exercise.

ASIC’s will be focused on the oversight of sustainability-related disclosure and governance practices of listed companies, managed funds, superannuation funds and green bonds.

Sustainability is an increasingly important aspect of business operations, and regulators are placing greater emphasis on transparency and disclosure in this area. By understanding ASIC’s expectations, companies can ensure they meet regulatory requirements and communicate their sustainability efforts effectively.

So what are the regulator’s expectations on sustainability-related disclosures?

In summary:

Adoption of TCFD: ASIC encourages listed companies to adopt the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations as the primary framework for voluntary climate-related disclosures. This includes following the guidance on metrics, targets, and transition plans provided by TCFD. By doing so, companies would be better positioned to adapt to any forthcoming disclosure standards in Australia, particularly those proposed by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

Make it real with Governance Structures: As the ISSB advances its proposals and other related developments unfold, directors are advised to establish the necessary governance structures now. These structures should support company disclosure and reporting in the future, considering the likely deeper integration between sustainability reporting and financial reporting.

Don’t Green Wash: Ensure Clear Communication on Sustainability Targets. Companies that have stated sustainability-related targets, such as ‘net zero’ commitments, are required to have reasonable grounds for making such statements. They must provide clear, accurate, and useful information to investors, explaining the target, the strategies to achieve it, the metrics for measuring progress, and the assumptions relied upon in setting the target. It is essential to have clear, time-bound action plans to avoid violating existing prohibitions on misleading statements. Note that the UN has stated that an offsets only approach is not appropriate for scope 1 and 2 emissions, or the scope 3 emissions of core products, and that these should be direct emissions reductions.

Regulators expect companies to disclose sustainability-related information to promote transparency and accountability. These disclosures provide investors and stakeholders with valuable insights into a company’s environmental, social, and governance practices. Compliance with regulatory requirements is essential for companies to build trust and demonstrate their commitment to sustainable business practices.

SustainabilityDisclosures #RegulatoryCompliance #TCFD #ISSB

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