Attention to the issue of climate change continues to grow: 53% of the financial reports in 2020 of the companies listed on the Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA) produced a report on the climate. A significant + 11% compared to 2019 and a figure that confirms the acceleration of attention to the issue of climate change. This was revealed by the Climate Change report which analyzes the relevance of climate change in the financial statements of the companies in the Piazza Affari. . “In line with the trend that has already emerged in 2019 – explains Stefano Dell’Orto, Chief Executive Officer of Audit & Assurance Deloitte – we observe a growing dissemination of the information provided in the 2020 Annual Financial Reports of listed companies and greater awareness of the fact that Issues related to climate change cannot be confined to the context of the Non-Financial Statement alone “.
Who is more sensitive, who is less
Deloitte’s analysis was conducted with reference to the Annual Financial Reports for 2020 published by the companies listed on the Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA) managed and regulated by Borsa Italiana and concerned the financial statements of 220 companies out of the 239 companies listed on this market. The companies analyzed were classified according to a sector criterion: using the clusters of Borsa Italiana, each company was identified within the macro-sector and the specific sector to which it belongs. Analyzing these 220 financial statements, it emerges that 53% of the financial reports examined, relating to 116 entities, contain information on climate change with very different levels of detail. The trend is up compared to 2019, in which only 42% of the annual financial reports included explicit references to the topic of climate change. However, there remains a significant number of companies that do not address this aspect in the Annual Financial Report: 47% of the 2020 financial reports, in fact, do not include any reference to the topic.
The level of detail of the information
Furthermore, the level of detail of the information provided differs significantly: 36 of the 116 annual financial reports dealing with climate change mention the issue as a purely contextual and market factor, not declined with respect to the company and the related strategic framework and without identification of related risks and opportunities. On the other hand, 80 of the 116 annual financial reports, equal to 36% of the entire sample, address climate change as a critical factor of the company, albeit with significantly different levels of detail, declining the considerations in the context of the related management strategy and identifying related risks and opportunities. “Overall, the analysis highlighted a growing awareness of the issue of climate change and its impacts on the financial statements, in continuity with the virtuous path already traced with the 2019 financial statements”, comments Franco Amelio, Sustainability Leader of Deloitte Italia.
When the green “influences” communication
About 36% of industrial companies (62 out of 169 companies) provided information in the body of the Annual Financial Report on the risk related to climate change, as did 18 out of 51 companies operating in the financial services sector. Conversely, the data becomes uneven if read in a sectoral perspective. “The exposure of individual sectors to the risks deriving from climate change is, at present, a fundamental objective driver for the extent and quality of the information provided”, highlights Massimiliano Semprini, Ifrs Leader of Deloitte Italia. “Belonging to identifiable sectors with greater exposure to these risks, such as energy and utilities, significantly influences not only the communication strategy, but also the scope and content of the disclosure in the context of the annual financial reports” , says Semprini. “In general, it is important to underline that if, on the one hand, strong statements with respect to corporate decarbonization strategies are increasingly at the center of communication by broadcasters, on the other hand, only in some cases are these statements consistently reflected in the financial statements” , concludes Mauro Di Bartolomeo, National Professional Practice Director of Deloitte Italia.