Investors are demanding better disclosure of climate change risk from Indian companies which have spurred better disclosure from India Inc.
CDP India saw a 13 per cent hike in the number of those, comprising Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, who responded to climate change questionnaire between 2018 and 2019 -- from 52 to 59.
The findings were released in Mumbai on Monday in CDP's annual report "Climate and Business: Partnership of The Future".
Increasing climate activism and the growing band of climate-conscious investors have ensured that almost all boards of top responding companies now have committees and members designated to addressing climate risk.
A whopping 58 companies, 98 per cent of the responding sample, have board-level oversight of climate-related issues.
"Scores of investors are actively engaging companies to disclose their climate risk and helping them to do better. This can only benefit the companies through green innovation and help clean up our environment," said Damandeep Singh, CDP India Director.
"The unlikely duo of world's teenagers and investors seem to be pushing the world, we now need to pick up the pace," he said.
Top managements have integrated climate concerns in performance evaluation of key personal with nearly 90 per cent (53) providing incentives to senior staffers to help meet targets, 71 per cent (42) providing monetary rewards and 37 giving non-monetary rewards for recognising, monitoring and overseeing progress in climate-related targets.
"We are delighted that Jio has joined the growing group of companies who are evaluating and disclosing their climate risk. We hope that the flagship Reliance Industries will also disclose in the coming year," Damandeep Singh told IANS.
According to R. Mukundan, MD and CEO of Tata Chemicals Ltd and a Board member of CDP India, embedding a sustainable and climate-focused approach in an organisation, creates long-term stakeholder value.
"Indian companies have reaffirmed their commitment to addressing the challenge of climate change by taking bold emission reduction targets and promoting renewable energy which has put India on the path to achieving its commitments under the Paris Agreement," he said.
In 2019, up to 57 of the 59 responding companies stated that they have a process for risks assessment; 51 declared that their process of identifying, assessing and managing climate related risks is integrated into the multi-disciplinary, companywide risk identification, assessment, and management process which is considered a best practice.
Of the 43 responding companies that assess risks annually, 29 (67 per cent) also consider risks for more than six years into the future, clearly promoting a long-term vision.
Given the important role the value chain plays in a company's attempt at decarbonisation, 49 of the 59 companies are interacting with their suppliers on climate-related issues.
The CDP findings indicate that Indian companies are propelling India to the leadership group in planning urgent climate action.
India is now the fifth country and the first developing economy with Science Based Targets the maximum number of companies committing to SBTi.
By December 2019, 38 companies have been committed to SBTi which is significant growth from 25 companies in 2018.
Renewable energy (RE) too is increasingly an area of focus among Indian companies.
In 2019, 23 companies reported RE targets, a 44 per cent growth over 2018. Majority of companies have reported RE consumption targets. This includes three companies (Dalmia Cement, Infosys Ltd and Tata Motors) that have adopted 100 per cent RE consumption.
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