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Climate Change and Sustainability reporting workshop, 26 November

Hear about the latest reporting developments in climate change and sustainability reporting.

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This workshop was led by PwC experts and focused on Building Public Trust through transparent and impactful reporting on Climate Change and Sustainability. Our external panel included a broad range of speakers from leading FTSE organisations including BP, BT, GSK and a senior portfolio manager from RBC Global Asset Management.

We discussed insights and examples from top reporting organisations along with key findings from our own research. The workshop also gave participants the chance to share their issues with other like-minded professionals.

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1:25:03

Transcript

Alan McGill

So, as I mentioned, my name is Alan McGill, I have the honour of leading our Building Public Trust Awards programme, and indeed 12 years ago introduced the Sustainability Reporting award into the suite of awards that are handed out.

It's been fascinating to see over that time how the reporting agenda has changed, but also equally just how the particular issue of sustainability, or ESG, or whatever you’d like to call it within your organisation has now changed during that time.

Nothing has been more impactful in 2020, other than everything that is going on in and around us in relation to COVID. That has been again, had a massive impact and a huge implication for all of us in our normal day to day lives, both at work and clearly also for lot of us at home.

And 2020 is no different for other seismic events, if you like, in relation to the ESG agenda. The last month has seen huge dramatic changes around introduction of mandatory TCFD Reporting for large organisations within the UK. Also, the announcements from Boris about his 10-point plan for a green economy in terms of Build Back Better campaign, and indeed the chance for the exchequer talking about raising finance next year through the green gilts and very much big focus around the climate change agenda.

Equally, we’ve seen investors now stepping up much more and we are going to hear a little bit about that later on from an investor, in terms of why they are thinking now that ESG has become a really important issue for the organisation. Again, so quite a dramatic year in a number of ways, but one thing has remained for us, we have reviewed and looked at all of the reporting across the FTSE 350, as well as other larger organisations, EU PIEs and other entities. We’re going to have a look at and see what reporting has been done this year in relation to your organisations.

How we're going to run this morning in terms of what is on the agenda? So, if you wouldn't mind moving to the next page, please. Thank you.

So, as I say, we are going to run through a few of the reporting insights that we have. Historically, we have reviewed, as I say, that reporting across those organisations that I’ve just mentioned. Within that we then typically produced a report each year showing those sorts of best practice reporting, some of the developments that we’ve seen in the current year, and lots of content around insights, around what's been happening for the year in question. As I mentioned, 2020 has been a very unusual year. What we've done this year as well, is to actually also review all the climate change reporting that businesses have also been putting out now, increasingly so into the marketplace.

We do actually have two reports that we’ve done this year. one around the Excellence in Sustainability reporting, and the second one is around Excellence in Climate Change. As I mentioned, with the announcement around the requirement now to do TCFD reporting, that’s going to be incredibly insightful, and you are going to hear from a fellow partner, Jon Williams, a little bit later on in the second half, who’s going to talk about what we saw through the climate change reporting for this year.

We're then going to have a panel session, so I am joined by four other organisations and four other colleagues from those organisations. So those include Alice Revels from BP, Claire Lund from GSK, Gabrielle Jinér from BT, and then Ben Yeoh, who is an investor from RBC Global Asset Management. At that point when we have that panel session, I will ask those panel members a few questions about their organisations focusing in other areas around Net Zero and so on, and their carbon strategies. There will be also an opportunity for those of you who are on the call to raise some questions that you might want to. To do that, please do it through the chat function, you have the ability, as I say, just click on there and then type your questions in, and then they will be fed through. And I will hopefully then be able to ask, either all of the panel or particular panel members if it's a specific question about them and their organisation. Obviously, that will be slightly later on within the actual session.

So, the reports that we produce this year again have a compendium of basically good practice in reporting. We are going to go through a number of those themes and trends in a moment. As a result of that, we're then going to move through and then finally, as I say, that question and answer session.

Before we go on to essentially the reporting insights, we would like to see if the technology holds up for us and works. We’re just going to move to Slido, and just do a very quick poll question. You can see the QR code of the top there. Effectively, what you then need to do is just type in the ‘Insightful Reporting’, and essentially that first question there that you see is: ‘What are the biggest sustainability reporting challenges that are facing you and your organisation?’ If you could please just type in whatever they are, you can put in more than one if there is. Again, usually one or two words will do, and we'll create an automatic Wordle that will come up from those particular points that you're raising. And as a result of that that it will also just give us a view as to whether or not some of the trends that we've been seeing basically are consistent with those issues that you are experiencing.

It’s great to see those responses coming in. I can already see that there’s 76, and that’s going up. Data, multiple methodologies, complexity, the lack of common standards - those might be some very interesting points to put to Ben later on when he is obviously looking at your organisations and thinking about whether or not to recommend an investment or not.

We will just give that a couple more moments for those of you who've just been joining. As I say, you can log in. As I said, you can see the QR codes there, we will use Slido later on within the presentation. So, please do as I say, put in your answers and actually say what it is that you are experiencing.

What's also very interesting about what you can see there, is just the sheer volume and number of different issues that are actually coming through although data does seem to be sticking very much at the centre. I'll just give it another 10 seconds, just in case there are any final questions or any final words that are being sent through. Then as I said, we will come back to the presentation.

So, look thank you to those of you who have submitted your words as part of that. I would say, some very interesting points there to raise with the panel members later on, but also at some point we will see coming through, both in terms of what we saw from the reporting. So as I say, you can see on the screen, as I said, you can see the two reports that we have produced this year, one around the ‘Excellence in Sustainability Reporting’ and the second one around ‘Excellence in Climate Change Reporting’. What we are going to do now is just talk very briefly about some of the trends that we saw from the sustainability reporting side and then I'm going to pass it over to my fellow colleague Jon, who will then talk about the climate change. With that if we could move on to the next slide.

The first point that we saw, and was really interesting given all the change that has been going on in this particular year in terms of the impact of COVID, was that actually purpose, and how ESG and sustainability connects with purpose, has absolutely come to the forefront of a lot of reporting done now by organisations. Certainly, within the FTSE 100, you can see that 93% of companies are now reporting that they have a purpose. And what was also interesting about that, was that actually they are going beyond just having a strap line, just having perhaps a statement within their reporting. So, really starting to connect it through now to those other stakeholders in the organisation that affect their business. And we could really see that starting to come through some of the changes that have gone on in that reporting to address broader stakeholders, but also starting to now develop and create KPIs metrics that are starting to show exactly how that purpose was coming to life.

That has shifted in the sense that actually that number last year was 71%. A pretty seismic shift, and also repeated in a similar way across the FTSE 250 and the other organisations that we looked at as well. Within the FTSE 250, their corresponding number actually is 71%, so not quite as high as the FTSE, but the comparative figure was 52%. So again, a significant shift again amongst the FTSE 250 in relation to what they were doing, and what they were talking about in terms of their purpose and their agenda. And certainly, given the whole impact and implication of Covid, you have seen obviously organisations being challenged around what their purpose is and what their broader societal value is, and how they are helping out. And indeed, companies have been had to go through quite a lot of significant change to reflect that. And we certainly saw that coming through in some of the reports, where companies who've got, say March and April year-ends, where obviously they were affected a bit more by Covid, we started to see that come through much more, relative to those people and those organisations, who were December year end reporters from the previous year.

But within that as well we started to see that actually the risks being reported are now being much more closely aligned to the overall corporate strategy of the business. You can see how ESG and strategies are becoming much more embedded into the overall corporate strategy of the organisation. And you can see that coming from much more clearly than in previous years. And indeed, 87% of the reports that we looked at are really starting to show that connectivity of the risk associated with business model, preservation of value, and what was going on. But interestingly only about 20% of companies talking about those opportunities that they saw and being presented to them. And I’m hoping that when we get to the panel session later on, we are going to get a sense and a feel for all the companies that we talked to there, but actually this is just as much about the opportunity side that is being presented, as well as clearly understanding how to manage those risks within the organisation. So it’s very much then about looking at how can we develop that, how can we move that forward, and again that's going to be an area that's going to move forward now quite quickly, as we see some of those new disclosures starting to come through in the reporting.

Within that we've also decided that actually as a result of that to have a look at the broader societal implications associated with the organisation. Again, Covid has probably had a big influence on that in terms of raising and significantly you might say dialling up the ‘S’ part of the ESG agenda, whereby we have seen that impact in relation to not just the environment, but those social impacts as well coming through. There was quite a lot of case study reporting going on, where companies were talking about what they'd been doing with their employees because of the impacts on the organisation, but also increasingly what they were doing around the human capital agenda. So many issues again affecting that, whether it's black lives matter, whether it is again implications of Covid, whether it is discussions about gender pay, whether it is around diversity and inclusion, mental health, wellbeing. All of those sorts of issues are now starting to come through much more strongly within the reporting, therefore, seeing that sort of social side of the agenda, starting to come through much more within the reporting that businesses do. Indeed, there you can see 42% of companies now starting to very actively report on and disclose key information in that particular area.

I've already mentioned Covid a couple of times, apologies for that at one level, I'm sure we will sick to death at one level of hearing that phrase, but I do think it is going to have probably a bigger impact in relation to the year-end that is coming up for all of you in terms of your reporting. So, again whilst this year we weren't able to see a huge amount, but we do have a particular section in our reports that does deal and look at the issue of Covid and the reporting that we saw around it.

I should say that both of the reports that we've got will be emailed to all of you after this meeting, so you will get a chance to have a look at them. But that's one of the chapters that we've added in this year to look at specifically some of that Covid-19 reporting that is going on.

Another chapter that we've included this year, is again, you can see on the screen is around Net Zero. There are increasing numbers of companies, indeed, of the ones and all of the companies that we looked at across the sustainability reporting that we looked at this year, we noted 45 UK companies already committed to a Net Zero pathway. So, demonstrating how they are going to start to transition to that low carbon economy and looking at the way they're going to transform their business, and also equally the supply chain that operates there. Indeed, that's going to be quite a focus of the panel session in relation to what we see and what we do. Hopefully, again a lot to be able to pick up and discuss, as I said with those panel members, later on when we have that conversation.

The other area that we've picked up on as well, to have a look at this, is just the way in which the whole ESG agenda is integrating much more into the corporate business. It's fair to say that a lot of us are probably now having more conversations perhaps with our Boards, with that C-suite, potentially even with Audit Committees in a much bigger way, and because of the spotlight that this whole agenda has now come under. You've had investors as well starting to move much more forcibly, you could say, into this area in terms of wanting to know more about your organisation and what it is that you are doing. And I'm sure that a number of you in your organisations have got investors like BlackRock where Larry Fink has now become very vocal in the marketplace, talking about the need in this area, and indeed endorsing frameworks like SASB, and also the TCFD reporting framework.

Some of you may have seen the announcement actually from yesterday, whereby SASB, and actually the international integrated reporting committee, the IIRC, are now actually going to merge as part of them moving forward. And I think to some of the Wordle points that came up from before, where they were talking about the complexity and plethora of standards that are out there, that actually there is going to be more of a drive towards that consolidation within the ecosystem. And we are already seeing that in terms of the way in which organisations like the IFRS Foundation have now started to work with those more traditional standard setters of SASB and GRI and others, but also how the EU is also stepping into this place within consultation around the EU nonfinancial reporting directive, the implications that might have, not just for Europe, but potentially wider, and in terms of organisations who operate and trade and have business within Europe.

So, a lot of things going on where information and data, understanding around the risks, and also those opportunities is going to come through. As I say, we definitely saw that within the information that we had coming through. So, all of that, as I say, resulted in quite a lot of change going on within the reporting landscape for this year. The increased interest is going to be maintained and investors are going to increasingly want to know more. I think you are also going to see more legislation come through in terms of what companies and businesses are going to be asked to report on. And I think there are other areas that are coming up that are going to probably have a lot of focus going into the next year's reporting agenda as well.

Two of those areas very quickly - one is around the issue of taxation and economic activity. The 10-point plan that we saw from Boris the other day indicated that the UK Government is starting to shift now to much more green economy, part of that Build Back Better campaign. Therefore, things like taxation, and what you're doing on that are going to become much more important in terms of the policies that you have. Again, the reporting that you do around your economic activity, and what and how do you contribute towards basically the broader economy in terms of your organisation's inputs. We clearly know that Governments have spent a huge amount of money, not just here in the UK, but across the world supporting their economies and their countries in terms of what they are doing, especially as a result of the Covid implications. And so therefore, tax receipts, tax revenues are going to be critically important from an organisation in terms of what they do, and therefore the reporting around that is going to get a lot of attention. And indeed, GRI released that 207 Standard and the series within that, especially 207-4, which are the disclosures around their new tax reporting that they are looking for companies to engage in.

And finally, there was also perhaps a relatively new, you might say, kid on the block, who were paid from a reporting perspective, which was the World Economic Forum (WEF), who introduced a new arguably a reporting framework, but they don't call it a framework for organisations, on 22nd of September and earlier this year so literally only a couple of months ago. And within that, and that's what probably helped to accelerate and bring together the idea of the consolidation in this marketplace around those standards and what are being reported on. Essentially, within the document that they released they've now put out a framework around what they call the four Ps, which is People, Planet, Prosperity and the Principles of Governance. Those four Ps have a set of 21 core metrics that they said essentially all organisations should be able to report against. And again, that signalled a movement towards the consolidation around information and reporting, I do think with that will start to influence the reports again for this coming year and beyond, with companies now starting to sign up to adopt that reporting.

The WEF have not tried to basically recreate or produce anything new in the sense of here's a difference set of standards, here's a different basis of preparation for that information, it is very much drawn on the existing standards that are out there and basically just said these are key ones that all organisations should be able to report against. But they've also turned around and said that, absolutely that is seen as a foundational level of reporting, and then actually therefore there will be other information that they would expect to see companies reporting on as well.

So, as I say, a lot happening in the reporting space. You will find that we will email out this report but also the one on climate change to you after this particular meeting. With that, I am going to hand over to my colleague, Jon Williams, who will just introduce himself, and then take you through what we found as part of this year's Climate Change Reporting. So, with that Jon over to you.

Jon Williams

Thanks Alan, good morning everyone and I trust you are all keeping well. What I wanted to do was to start with our second Slido question, so if you go into Slido the question will be there, but I will read it out. It is a simple self-evaluation, from 1 to 10 against the following statement: ‘How well do you understand the requirements of the TCFD and what do you need to do to disclose against them?’ I am not going to vote on this, because as a member of the TCFD, I really can’t give myself anything less than 10, and that would skew the results.

I am also looking for absolute honestly, because I've got the results of what your reports actually show. So, 1 is the lowest, 10 is the highest, either most comfortable. Interestingly, I was expecting a normal distribution curve, I wasn't expecting the 22% recorded as the 1, not very sure at all, so I might come to some of that in the results that I walk through to see whether the reasons for it as I suspect. So, once we get over 100, we'll probably move on with the presentation, I will just give it another 30 seconds. OK, so I think we're broadly there, there's no more coming in. As you can see, most people sitting in the sort of middle five or six, but an interesting 24%, one in four of you saying that you don't understand the requirements, and what you need to disclose against them. So, maybe the scores might go up a little bit as a result of my words, maybe not for that, but here it goes. If we can move on to the next slide.

What I want to do is cover two things. Firstly, the result that TCFD status report, which gives a global picture; and then the results of our own analysis under the Building Public Trust Awards programme. The TCFD produces a status report once a year. PwC are the analytics partner for the TCFD. We use AI to read your reports, whether they be sustainability reports, annual reporting accounts, or any other report that we can find. We digitise them, we read them, we extract and score the results. And we've now got over 100 million paragraphs of what you've written, and what other companies around the world have written on TCFD. If you look at the righthand graph this is a global view looking at the last three years, so grey through to mid blue, the TCFD’s colour palette. And what it shows is steady progress, but clearly quite a lot more needed to do. None of the reports that we see, even 50% of people disclosing against the requirements of TCFD.

The areas where companies do most well are around risks and opportunities. So, at a qualitative level, quite good at saying where they believe climate change, physical risks, transition risks, in some cases litigation risks, and also opportunities will affect their business. But it is very much at this stage a narrative disclosure rather than a financial disclosure – the ‘F’ in TFCD. Other areas are more mixed, some struggle a little bit with governance, particularly at the Board, less so than with management. The one area where everyone struggles is on resilience strategy to climate change and that really is scenario analysis and linking the results of scenario analysis through to company’s strategies to business plans and financial performance. You can see they are really single digits and quite slow progress; I am going to come back to that.

Metrics and targets, generally on scope one and two missions, the companies disclose very well. Scope 3 are much more challenging, and particularly in the Financial Services sector. Scope 3 finance commission is still very embryonic and again I will come back to that.

If I look to the charts on the left. This is a sectoral view again of the same four areas of the recommendation. And a couple of things stand out to me. Firstly, no surprise that the Energy sector, and Mining in particular do quite well. At the end of the day, carbon is part of their business, they've been managing carbon transition for a number of years, and in particular the Energy sector has been running scenarios, like the Shell scenario started in the late 1960s, so scenario analysis around carbon and climate is much more of their bread and butter.

But the big pale line right through the middle again just shows how almost every sector struggle with scenario analysis. And as I said, the Financial Services sector struggle more on the metrics and targets, because of the need to come to defined methodology.

The other thing that stood out for me is that on scenarios, banks do somewhat better than other sectors. That doesn't surprise me in that they are very used to doing stress tests, and therefore are using some of the same capabilities to look at climate stress tests and again I may come back to that.

Then sectors towards the right-hand side, particularly around Technology and Media, and to an extent Consumer Goods are finding it much harder to disclose against the TFCD-based on the reviews that we’ve done. That's the macro view. The key thing that we've pulled out is that financial disclosures are still very low. If you are an investor, understanding the impact of climate change on revenues, on costs, on margins, on asset values and impairment, on liabilities, on cash flow is much more important than understanding the absolute level of carbon emissions, for example.

If we now move on to the review that we've done under the BPTA, so UK listed companies. I am just going to break down into the four areas of governance, strategy, risks, and metrics and targets. This is a really interesting set of numbers. Three-quarters of the reports that we reviewed mentioned Board levels committees with climate change oversight, either direct responsibility of the Board or a delegated committee, either a sustainability committee or risk committee. But actually, when we looked at what evidence is there of the competence of the Board, then only 1 in 10 reports describe on the competence of Board members to manage and understand climate change, and less than one in five had any plans to train Board members, or if they did they haven't disclosed. So, my takeaway from this is that Boards are actually engaged, but there is probably more work to do to build the competence and confidence of Boards. And interestingly, just over one in five linking remuneration up to climate related objectives. And certainly, if climate change is seen as a material issue for that company's performance then one would expect to see more linked remuneration.

If I look at strategy, in terms of companies that are identifying climate risks, that’s certainly the narrative around physical and transition risk is understood at a qualitative level, there are good discussions in documents but not, as I say, really much around quantification, but certainly the understanding of those risks is there is being disclosed qualitatively.

One of the things that I've already raised at the global view we see in the UK is whilst many companies were able to identify the impact of climate change, only about 40% made any link to financial performance in any way and a lot of that was a qualitative link rather than an absolute link. The one example I always use is Shell, who disclosed what a 10-dollar price rise in carbon would do to their EBITDA. That's the sort of number that an investor can use in terms of thinking about different scenarios on carbon class, for example.

Interestingly, despite the fact that people are finding it difficult to do scenarios and to quantify it over half have made Net Zero commitments, and that my observation there is that understanding your baseline, understanding strategically how you are going to transition your business to Net Zero, and understanding the financial implications of making the required investments and divestments, and any costs of offsetting to go to Net Zero from the reduction you've made. It can only be understood, if you've done a 1.5-degree scenario, there is a slight disconnect here between the analysis that’s being done, and the commitments that are being made.

On risk management again, two thirds merely describing how climate related risks can be identified and mitigated. Again, very low disclosure around the financial quantification of those risks. And again, on the panel, we may just discuss to what extent that financial complication is required by investors. A lot of stakeholder engagement - over half saying that there has been engagement with customers, suppliers. I think also, I hear that almost every investor meeting now covers ESG and climate change. And quite good narrative disclosures around the integration of climate risk into a risk management processes, so somewhat better from the reports we read then there are lower scores in the global view on risk integration.

Then finally on metrics and targets. Most companies are very used to disclosing Scope 1 and 2, and where appropriate, Scope 3 emissions, much higher score than in the global view, possibly driven by a combination of regulation and investor pressure in the UK market. But actually, only a third putting any sort of targets around decarbonisation such as Net Zero and linking it to a company strategy. Often the targets describe operational emissions that don't describe a future target, or maybe a science-based target all linked to the Net Zero strategy, so just a third covering on that.

What I wanted to do is just finish with a few observations and insights. Nobody could have missed, I certainly didn't, that two weeks ago, the announcement that TCFD reporting will be made mandatory 2025, and earlier for premium listed companies. And certainly, that is a welcome news that the FCA have made that announcement. One comment is that the PRA is requiring financial firms to fully embed climate risk management into their organisations by the end of 2021. I see a time disconnect between the requirement for companies to disclose and the uses of those discloses to use them as they embed climate change, and that's going to create an interesting challenge. I would also probably say that as we have two business cycles to fix climate change, what we do in the next 10 years, frankly, is going to make all the difference. Waiting for one of those cycles to end seems a little bit late, again we may discuss that with the panel.

What TCFD been up to, we've got a couple of reports as well as the status report which are available on the TCFD website. The first is, we've issued a more detailed guidance on scenario analysis for non-financial sectors. Back in 2017, we issued quite generic guidance of the status reports and the surveys we've done, really highlighted that scenarios and data were the biggest challenge, and therefore were trying to continue to build capacity. A lot of the non-financial as well as financial sector scenarios that have been done by other working groups under the unit PFI and PwC has been supporting working on the insurance working group, for example, our report will be issued in about two weeks’ time.

The second is integration into risk management. Again, some companies that they found it hard to integrate climate risk into broader enterprise risk management frameworks and working with the world business council sustainable development, that we've produced an integration into risk management guide. Again, that was released a couple of weeks ago. Then on the metric side, we've released a consultation paper, looking forward, looking financial metrics for financial institutions, again, to try and come up with a standard that can be used for FIs. Please do respond to the consultation, we've highlighted two or three options. One around implied temperature rises of companies, Bank of England, for example, announcing its portfolio of holdings is equivalent to 3.2 degrees of global warming at climate value at risk in a weighted average carbon intensity measure. So please do respond on those.

I am going to stop there, just within an hour on the clock. Thanks very much for listening, and Alan, I'll pass the baton back to you.

Alan

Thank you, Jon. Just one very quick comment from me on that as well, which is also a key finding for the reporting season this year, is that whilst we have seen obviously new disclosures going into the front half of the annual reports and accounts, very often there is no connectivity between that information and the back half of the financial statements. That was certainly a key finding that came out from the FRC (the Financial Reporting Council), when they looked into companies’ accounts and when they looked into their financial auditors to see how was climate change being considered and factored, it just wasn't there - that connectivity did not exist. So, it’s a key area of focus now by regulators around what are those new disclosures that you are putting in the front half say, and what do your financial statements actually say as well.

Now with that, we are going to move to the panel session. My panel members thank you for your patience in waiting. As I said, we have four colleagues who have joined with us today. Those are Alice, Claire, Gabrielle, and Ben. What I'm going to do is, go to each of you and just ask you to just very quickly introduce yourselves. Obviously where you come from, we can clearly see on the slide, but also particularly what are you doing in your organisation. But I would also like within your introduction, very much talk about the sort of the Net Zero challenge, and how you've taken that on within your organisation, because all three of you have come out with commitments around Net Zero. It would be great to hear a little bit about how that conversation happened internally, what the debates were around, perhaps that scope of where you were setting it, and obviously therefore, how are you going to report on that. With that I'm going to ask Gabrielle to go first, and so Gabrielle, if you don't mind, over to you.

Gabrielle Ginér

Hi everybody, thank you for joining us this morning, my name is Gabrielle Ginér, I am Head of Environmental Sustainability at BT. I just wanted to start by setting a bit of background.

Actually, BT has been taking climate action for over 28 years now. We set our first carbon reduction target in 1992, we set our first science-based target in 2008, and this is of course before anyone was talking about linking science to carbon reduction. The target that we set at that time was to reduce the carbon emissions intensity of our business by 80% by 2020. We met that target four years ahead of time in 2016. So, we decided to be even more ambitious. In 2017, we announced the target that was aligned to 1.5 degrees and that is to reduce the carbon emissions intensity of our business by another 87% by 2030-2031, and that of our supply chain by 42% in that timeframe, and to be a Net Zero emissions business by 2045.

So, how are we going to get there? I think we have four major areas that we're focusing on. Firstly, around switching our electricity consumption to renewables. I’m delighted that a couple of weeks ago we announced that we are now 100% renewables around the world. We need to decarbonize our fleet, our buildings, and we also of course need to engage with our supply chain to encourage them towards the Net Zero journey.

Our biggest challenge is around our fleet. BT and Openreach have around 33,000 vehicles, we have the second largest fleet in the UK. So, we joined forces with the Climate Group in June of this year to set up the UK Electric Fleets Coalition to advocate for a better policy environment in terms of going electric for fleets. That coalition now has 29 members, who collectively manage over half a million vehicles on UK roads. And of course, we are delighted with the Prime Minister’s announcement to move forward the ban on the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles to 2030. And I think that is just showing an example of how important it is that businesses work together with policymakers to drive change. And I think collaboration is so important of how you do this. So, that was how I was going to start this.

I think in terms of setting targets and, Alan to your question, to us being able to link our targets to science has been really important. It certainly helped me in terms of, how did you Gabrielle come up with this target. Well, the science says that this is going to be our target, this is the pathway that has really helped in terms of our Board discussions. In terms of motivating our colleagues on this, we now for the first time have introduced a new bonus target, which is looking at how well BT is doing in terms of getting to Net Zero. So, for all BT employees that get a bonus, that is now specifically linked to how well we're doing on carbon reduction.

Alan

Gabrielle, thank you. Fascinating to hear that not just perhaps the Board that are being remunerated, but actually that alignment around the whole organisation, and therefore it being relevant to all individuals within BT, thank you.

Claire from GSK, would you mind again, just introducing yourself and perhaps a similar question around obviously how GSK has engaged with the whole Net Zero debate and what you're doing around that, please?

Claire Lund

Yeah, thanks Alan. Hi, I'm Claire Lund, so I'm the Vice President for Sustainability for GSK. It's always tough going second because you want to actually just say, repeat. Frankly, we're almost the new kid on the block from a Net Zero perspective. We literally announced our new targets on the 3rd November. We're not new to environmental sustainability, so we've had targets and objectives since at least 2010, where we've reduced our carbon emissions by 34%, we reduced waste to landfill by 78%. We’re hopefully on track to deliver zero waste to landfill by the end of this year globally across all of our sites. So, we're not new to this, but we are new to a Net Zero goal, which we announced like I said on the 3rd November. We also set a net Nature Positive goal by 2030. We have actually committed that this is full, end to end. This is in the technical speak, its Scope 1, 2 and 3, which is all of Scope 3, so its upstream and downstream. It's a pretty ambitious set of targets we've gone for.

In terms of how do we get there, how do we set that?

Well frankly, we worked with a great team. We also made sure that we have visibility of our footprint. That means a lot of work on where do the emissions sit, where do they sit today, where will they be sitting in the future, and really breaking it down to what's in that Scope 1, what's in that Scope 2, what's in that Scope 3, which is a much bigger piece of the pie. About 80% of our emissions will sit in our Scope 3 position. We knew we are going to have to work out a way of focusing on those Scope 3 emissions. Again, we've broken it down almost into the upstream aspect, which is around 40%; and the downstream aspect, which sits in particular products for us as a company.

The challenge really was almost going through that methodology and using Gabrielle's point, using the science to really understand what is the pathway, how do we need to get, what is the trajectory we need to be on to meet the 1.5 degree trajectory, what is the reduction target we've got to do. We went through almost systematically working through, well what would be the activities for transition to renewable electricity, transitioning to electric fleet, working with our suppliers to see if we can transition some of those onto those objectives as well, working on particular products to see if we can get those into a low carbon format.

So, it really was almost a bottom-up approach in terms of how we could try and tackle it. There of course is always a residual amount. So, once you've gone into the reductions pathway as much as you can, what are we going to be doing with the remaining. And part of that is a leap of faith. We’ll look to the technologies of the future, we will engage, we will partner, we will work with organisations to see where we can get to on that. Part of it is also, we will have to offset. We will have to make sure that we look at a removals strategy that is complementary to our Net Nature Positive goal. So, how do we use nature to help remove some of the carbon that ultimately may not be able to be avoided or reduced. I'll pause there because I know you've got a few panel discussions, but happy to take questions.

Alan

Claire brilliant, thank you. Again, that whole residual piece is a really important part, which is again, what do you do with that, how do you deal with that. Alice, if I wouldn't mind now turning to yourself, apologies you are third after Claire, but equally, I'm sure there are some very interesting aspects for you to be able to talk about in relation to your organisation, and what you are doing because you have somewhat of a relatively large carbon footprint?

Alice Revels

We do, yes. So, I was just reflecting on what Gabrielle and Claire said. There are so many similarities across all of our companies, so I'll try and not repeat. But let me just say a little bit about sustainability of BP, because that sets up where Net Zero fits in for us.

Sustainability is not new to BP as a company. However, in August this year we announced a new strategy, which is really the most fundamental shift for us as a company in our 111-year history. So, that will see us pivoting from an international oil company towards an international energy company, really focused on producing the energy solutions that the world will need in the future. We also took the opportunity, as part of our work on new strategy, to develop a new sustainability framework. We announced more detail on that in September, I think it has been positively received both inside the company and outside.

There are couple of key components to the sustainability framework. So, we've got three focus areas, and these really talk to our company purpose. BP like a lot of companies, and you alluded to this at the start Alan. And we came out with a new purpose statement in February this year, which is all about reimagining energy for people on our planet. Our sustainability frame talks to those People and Planet, Powers of our purpose. We've announced a pillar around caring for our planet, which includes promoting cleaner environments, biodiversity, and natural climate solutions. We've got a pillar around improving people's lives, which includes promoting mental and physical health and wellbeing, which has obviously become incredibly important this year.

The third pillar is to get to Net Zero. So, in terms of BP’s Net Zero ambition, we actually launched this back in February, so we've had our ambition out there for a while longer. We split it into two areas. We announced five aims to help BP get to Net Zero by 2050 or sooner, but also five aims to help the world get to Net Zero. And that second part of our ambition is incredibly important task. We know that to achieve Net Zero, there is no one single company that can do it alone, so that's why we've set out these five aims for the world.

But just very briefly on BP’s aims, and like the others, they include reduction targets for Scope 1, 2 and elements of Scope 3 emissions. We've got target around reducing the carbon intensity of our marketed products, we've got some methane reduction targets, we've also got a target to increase our investment in new energy technologies, and this is a really big one for BP and for our sector. We'll possibly come onto this later from the discussion, but this is where there is huge opportunity and a big business opportunity for BP to increase that investment in new energy.

Then just very quickly, our five aims for the world focus around advocating for low carbon policies and employee incentivisation. So, we also have a target that links carbon reduction to our remuneration for all of our eligible employees who receive an annual cash bonus. Aligning Trade Association views around the world and taking action where there is misalignment, becoming a leader in transparency, which includes implementing SASB and TCFD. Then finally, an aim around clean cities and building partnerships with cities around the world to help them deliver their own Net Zero ambitions, there's quite a lot in there I'm sure we are doing.

Alan

Absolutely, but a couple of common threads as well around this with new partnerships and collaboration, and what BP is now looking to do. And again, how that transformation of your existing business model is going to need to come through in the reporting. And I suppose Ben, if I now switch to you and our last panel member, as an investor, you’ve just heard about three very large organisations. But quite frankly, it doesn't matter whether you are large or small, that transition is going to have to occur in an organisation. So. why is it so important to you as an investor to have this information, could you perhaps just elaborate on that for us?

Ben Yeoh

Quickly, I am a Portfolio Manager of Global Equities at RBC Global Asset Management. I manage, with my team, around $18 billion in global equity assets. I also have a couple of other hats, being on an advisory committee for the International Accounting Standards Boards and also one for the FRC.

I think from an investor point of view there were two or three nuances here about the type of investors that you are looking at. There is a couple of challenges here, because on the one hand, you're going to have to do a lot of what we would call hygiene reporting - getting a lot of the basic information on there, carbon scopes and things like that. And a lot of that is going to be used by quantitative or passive investors or those who are looking perhaps a little bit more tick box, but are looking through algorithms and things like that to make sure that everything is squared away, and where your company is pointing.

But then, there were another set of investors more active, probably ones that your IR teams and management are typically more talking about. And this to Alan and John solutions is where we're very interested on how all of this impacts long-term cash flows. But I guess through some of this, is that it also impacts it through your slightly overused term in terms of stakeholders. But where you're influencing suppliers, customers, regulators through all of this, and thereby, then influencing how that's going to be resiliency in your business model or resiliency and where your long-term cashflows go. Customers, whatever form, are the only stakeholders actually giving you money to do sales, and if they are saying, ‘well, we are pointing one way in consumer, it is very obvious right in terms of trends of sustainability where you're going. But all companies have these kinds of stakeholders as well, which are then flowing into these long-term cash flows.

So, the relevance to that and then your employees as well, the employee base is something which is shifting, and a lot of people are talking about. Whether you're talking about that as the human capital thing via a natural capital, there is a lot of that. One of the difficulties obviously is that the pricing of a lot of this is still a little bit early stage, what does it mean to have a carbon price, what does it mean to have this scenario, how this is Net Zero, the strategy really impacts some of those cash flows, and you can make some of those wide assumptions. But, because we know where certain regulation is pointing, carbon pricing is pointing, because we know where some consumers, the people who are doing is pointing, because we know where suppliers and your employees are pointing, at least strategically on a lot of this. Then seeing how that analysis is being done by a company and then it's being reported and to the extent that you can say, ‘look, these are some likely impacts on these long-term cashflows,’ is then really useful for us as investors, where we are trying to allocate money to good ideas, good companies, which are going to have long term wealth creation, because over the long term we see that as where share prices is going to go up, or also less risk in terms of your debt and equity racing. So, it all integrates in there, but it is a little bit more complicated than some of your standard near term quarterly cashflow reporting.

Alan

Ben, thank you.

Fascinating to hear, obviously how some of those implications you're really now starting to engage with and look at, and to understand the way in which these issues are going to impact those future cash flows. And that is going to have created a big implication for the business model of the organisation.

One other question that I had, and I might have to just open this up now, perhaps quickly to the panel and also has come through on some of the other questions that we've heard it a little bit is, actually just to get the thoughts on the panel from each of you. So how, because you've mentioned all about collaboration and partnerships, how are you going to work with your supply chain, with that scope three elements, but also are you going to work much more broadly across perhaps the sector with other companies in your industry as well, because we all know that some of these problems are so large and big and they affect us all. So how do you see that working relationship changing over time?

Gabrielle

Do you want me to start Alan?

Alan

That will be fantastic, Gabrielle, thank you.

Gabrielle

OK, so a few things that we are doing around supply chain, the first thing is disclosure and reporting, encouraging our suppliers to report to CDP. Just getting suppliers to start thinking about what they're doing on climate and recording has really changed what they're doing.

Secondly, we are introducing a new contract class, which is basically asking suppliers that over the term of their contract with BT, they need to reduce their carbon reductions. So that kind of elevates the conversation from being sustainability to sustainability people, to being something that's now part of the contract negotiation, which is incredibly helpful.

Thirdly, around innovation. So, we run something we call the Game Changing Challenge, which is like a bit of a Dragon's Den for our suppliers. This year we are focusing on the circular economy. We've asked some of our key suppliers to come to BT and pitch their new ideas on the circular economy. We run this competition and then we award a winner that we work with going forward. It’s incredibly important to work with our supply chain, that's two thirds of our end-to-end emissions for BT.

We've also, in terms of working with the companies, we've set up something called the 1.5 Supply Chain Leaders initiative, and we are working with Ericsson, with Telia, other people in our sector, and Unilever, and IKEA, to basically to try and reach out to more suppliers and we are also setting up an SME climate hub. So, we need to also start of course engaging with our SME suppliers and have somewhere for them to go to understand more about setting 1.5-degree targets.

Alan

Brilliant, thank you Gabrielle. Claire, if you wouldn't mind, perhaps turning to you now. Maybe within that, one of the things that clearly we're starting to hear is, actually if you're sitting in Net Zero, how do you get there when you're not quite sure whether the technology exists, what the strategies are, again those partnerships become really important. But how is GSK going to deal with that uncertainty that exists around some of those future targets you've set?

Claire

Possibly a bit of an overused phrase at the moment, but we have to think differently. We have to work differently, and work with our peers, our competitors and in this area, we shouldn't be treating it as competition – we’re all trying to reach the same goal which is Net Zero. I personally think it’s great, that we are all aiming now in the same direction, which actually means we can open those conversations up and start to look at where are the opportunities, where are the challenges, where we jointly facing the same issues that we can now start to jointly work on those. So, what I would actually say what’s helped by setting those goals and setting those ambitions, is showing that intent that we are now wanting to work differently and wanting to address the same challenge, so that's the first piece.

I think Gabrielle, it’s horrible coming after you. It is very much about that transparency and that disclosure. You cannot fix or work on a solution until you really know where the problem is. So, it’s really is about getting to the nitty gritty of where are the challenges, how do we then look at the right solutions, because when we have nearly 30,000 suppliers in our upstream supply chain. So it’s about where do we start to work on this and prioritise, how do we start to work on the ones that have gone through joint issues, where do we work on the SME side which is the large network side? In some of those, we may not actually have a very strong position. It is about how do we work with, and encourage, and get that visibility going through. So, transparency, disclosure, and understanding where that footprint is critical. Setting ambition, so that we are signalling the intent that this is now a change.

Then the third part is almost then what are some of the practical steps to work through, and do we start to look at joint power purchase agreements, for example, with suppliers in different countries. So, I think that phase is still to come. At the moment, it is a very much an embryonic stage, but it’s having that ambition, having that transparency, that intent, and then working through where are the solutions and how we work together.

Alan

And Claire, if I may just in relation to that, obviously that's going to require a new reporting, not just from an external perspective, but also critically from an internal perspective in terms of your own internal management accounting. So, how are you seeing this starting to change and reflect, because we know that the Boards for many, many years of focus obviously on the quarterly results and the financial performance? How are you getting that mindset and that culture to change to be looking at these other areas within GSK?

Claire

Actually, it is a bit of a two-pronged answer – there’s a pull and the push. The pull is coming from the regulations, the expectations from internal and external stakeholders, investors, so that the pull is coming through. The push is also around, well have we got the visibility and the data to share, so we can actually start putting that forward as well. It is a bit of a two-prong piece on that Alan. Actually, where it's getting to is, it will continue to mature as we get clarity on the methodologies, especially around Scope 3, which is the challenge for most of us. Which as somebody pointed out, everybody's Scope 3 and somebody else's Scope 1 and 2, it’s how we get into that granularity aspect.

But in terms of how is the visibility coming up through, and what will be changing. There's going to be a shift over the next year or two in terms of how that visibility comes through. Probably to some of the earlier points around the data, the complex methodologies, the difference of frameworks, that will actually really help to crystallise what are the right reporting methodologies that need to be clear and visible across the Board.

Alan

Thank you.

Alice, partnerships with BP after 111 years you said of being an oil company, how do you pivot to the new Energy sector you want to be and what are those new partnerships that you need to make that happen?

Alice

Partnerships are going to be critical, both in terms of how we deliver our new strategy, but also from a sustainability perspective. We've made some really big announcements this year already, I could reel off a whole host of names and companies that we are working with. They include people like Microsoft, where we are working on digital innovation; partnerships with Uber; partnerships with Equinor and Orsted to deliver new energy technologies. It's a really exciting time, and I think it's really important that we work with these other companies to deliver solutions. There is something around companies wanting to work with us as well, that's hugely important.

Just reflecting on partnerships in the context of our sustainability strategy and supply chain commitments, two things I just wanted to say. We are actively seeking to work with partners where we knew we don't have the skills or the answers or the knowledge ourselves. So, it’s really important that we find others that can help make us better, that's the general principle that underpins a lot of our work here. So, we’re going to be doing a lot more in terms of seeking out and building and growing those partnerships from a sustainability point of view.

And just on our supply chain, just to put it into context, BP’s supply chains band is in the region of I think $20 billion. So, we have a huge supply chain and that comes with a big responsibility, I guess. So, for us, we're really thinking about where do we need to prioritise and focus our efforts in terms of our work with our supply chain and really look at where we can drive efficiencies, and that might be associated with carbon emissions or new technologies, more circularity, for example, there are huge opportunities in there. We're just at the stage with our sustainability framework and our targets where we're really building out those objectives, so you can expect to see more from BP in terms of our specific targets going forward.

Alan

Alice, thank you.

Ben all these new targets, all this change that's going on within these businesses and many others, how do you cut through all of that to understand whether or not what you're seeing is actually what you want to hear from an investor perspective?

Ben

I do think there is a challenge on this kind of slightly overused words of materiality. I think a lot for investors, particularly once you also get out, I know there is a lot of focus here on the Annual Report. But we constantly monitor, you’ve got your quarterly reports, you've got your analyst days, and you've got all of this type of thing. There is this two-fold challenge, because you look at the risk section of an Annual Report, and sometimes there is 28-and-a-half risks put down there, of which 27 of them are completely obvious to the extent that is not meaningful, like commodity risk for an energy company. This is not a very meaningful risk to have there in your Risk Report, because obviously we know that. Yet there might be some very material ones, saying supply chain, which aren't really elucidated. That is definitely one of the challenges between doing that.

Then, maybe, it’s a little bit more of the constant updates, because it's actually now moving so fast or faster, I think one of the things, particularly when you're moving this or when you have your strategies and execution a little bit more front and centre, hearing this from your senior management teams during your quarterly meetings, or particularly if there's a KPI, they might go, okay sales, margins, earnings, this target and blah, but by the way also employee engagement score is very high, and also we've made a lot of progress on how are we extending on Net Zero. If you were to wrap those into your five or six KPIs, which are announced in the prepared remarks on a quarterly basis, or things in your press release, they will get noted, particularly in your prepared press release, just throwing those in there would be another useful thing.

Then one just final reflection on the collaboration side, because it's happening on the investor side as well. I think one of the interesting things is, once you are an investor and obviously, we are competing in some respects and others, but when we are all owners, we are definitely then all in the same boat. We’re are shareholders of the same things and actually you’ve got a lot of funds, who will hold a lot of companies, our particular strategy across indexes. You're going to see this to AGMs and reporting that investors push through our own stakeholders.

I have two $500 million mandates, where the underlying institution has asked me to engage on their behalf, and I said, you need to ask the Board this on Net Zero and a couple of other things, and if they do not, you need to tell us, and we will be then reporting it. So, the transparency of reporting, okay, this is the early day starting, but they're putting pressure on us to then put pressure on the Board as them as ultimate owners and how they are doing that. You've seen a couple of remarks for some fund managers this year, but you're going to find that some are actually now going to put on the AGM, are you disclosing and do you have a Net Zero plan; and if not, they will put on the ballot sheet that they think there should be so.

Then what you'll find is that those investors, who are perhaps bit more passive by the nature, who aren't going to necessarily put things on the AGM ballot, are going to have to make a decision about do we support or not. And you'll find a lot of those will then actually when they're asked to vote, will make a vote that way.

So, although I still think it's more earlier days, you're going to see more collaboration on our front and pushed by our own transparency and stakeholders, you're going to see more push this way. We'd like to see that more thread through everything, rather than maybe just the Annual Report, but seeing how senior management are talking and thinking about it integrated throughout an organisation.

Alan

Ben, that point about the passive and active decision. I definitely think that there is something that is going to change and change actually pretty quickly, I think. That sense from you, is that building if you like from what you're seeing, you talked about those two mandates, but are you seeing that starting to come through in other ways now?

Ben

It's really complicated, I am this lesser-spotted animal in these sorts of things. There's actually as a user of accounts, right, all of you are preparing it in the organisation, we are very heterogeneous in where we are in terms of that. But you are seeing, I think when you see it in the AGM, that there is this idea of we are all after long-term value creation of some form and seeing that through that. This is appearing all the time, whether it's through regulation or because our clients ourselves are asking for it. You are going to be seeing it popping up more and more. How that exactly is going to occur, and it does vary by geography as well. We've talked a lot about the climate lens here and emerging markets, but it's intersectional of human capital. Since a section about where your business model, and all of that will be, but the noise is growing and ultimately like companies will have to be responsive to their customers as a key stakeholder well as everyone else, investors and asset managers have to do the same, whether we’ve got institutional clients or retail clients. They are heading only one way, because we are all the same people - we are the voters, the buyers, the customers of this, and that's where it's pointing. I do think it will occur in a very many different colours and flavours, but that is where the direction is going.

Alan

Okay. Brilliant, Ben, thank you. Jon, if I may just perhaps turn back very quickly to you to step in on some of the TCFD and the international impact implications around that. Did you want to just perhaps give your views on that and again answer some of the questions that have been coming through?

Jon

So, let me pick up the international impact one. There are two or three things that are going to drive international adoption of TCFD and possibly mandatory adoption. So, the UK has already set out stall, and I've already spoken about that. At an EU level, their sustainable finance outcome plan is very ambitious, it goes way beyond climate. Part of that is to integrate the TCFD into the non-financial reporting directive. So, in effect, the EU will also adopt TCFD reporting in line with the UK.

Elsewhere, the Network for Greening of Financial System, which is a group of about 50 central banks have all committed to implement TCFD-like frameworks within their macroprudential regulation, the PRA clearly has come out first in terms of making climate risk management mandatory and then using the TCFD. And a lot of signs are that the central banks in the other countries will do the same and that will trickle down to the economy. Right at the other end of the world, we have New Zealand also making TCFD mandatory. So, my sense is the combination of international financial regulation, EU-wide regulation, and then specifically here in the UK is going to have a very big international influence.

We've had a result across the Atlantic, which probably means that the US will re-join the Paris agreement. I can’t believe John Kerry in his new role would do anything, but sign again the same document although, as a person, he will be a bit older these days. One would expect the SEC to follow a number of other regulators and to introduce TCFD, possibly on a comply or explain basis initially. So, I’m optimistic, of course I would be as a member of the TCFD, but I genuinely think, it is being adopted as an international standard.

Final point, when you've got $150 trillion of assets being managed by financial institutions that have signed up to implement the TCFD, that is 75% of the value of global capital markets. The chance is that everyone on this call and many other people have got a lump of shareholders, who are going to need disclosure to meet those obligations.

Alan

Jon, thank you. Yeah, huge momentum, I think.

I am just going to switch tack a little bit now, and perhaps just focus a little bit more on the ‘S’ part. We've been talking a lot about sort of the climate change, TCFD, the implications.

And Claire, I'll probably come to you first. rather than perhaps Gabrielle. But that whole sort of ‘S’ part of the agenda and has taken a significant shift within the last nine months or so given what has happened on Covid perspective. Are you seeing that come through in your organisation, is there a greater attention around social aspects and what that means within GSK?

Claire

I probably kick-off with I am not the right person to answer that question, because I don't cover the social agenda, I cover the environmental agenda. But purely on the social side from the ESG aspect, the social has always been extremely high for GSK. The access to medicines index and response around Covid, but I'm going to decline to comment on the social aspect, that's not actually my role, but if you wanted that input, I could certainly get that for you.

Alan

No, well that’s fair enough. I'll give you perhaps another question then instead, because in a very environmental focus. But COP26 is coming up, obviously going to be in Edinburgh, very close to home. What do you think we should be doing at COP26, especially with Mark Carney there, leading it all, it's going to have a huge attention from the world, the spotlight is going to be on it? How are you engaging with that, and again, and what would you like to see coming out of COP26?

Claire

At the moment is very much about how we build momentum towards Net Zero and targets the major positive. What I would love to see coming out COP26 is a clear alignment in terms of direction of travel from companies and countries across the world. I think UK has got a brilliant opportunity to showcase that, but it will take others to row in behind frankly, and hopefully with other countries coming forward on that basis as well. So, in terms of what we will be doing, we will clearly be present, we will be clearly working on that agenda. Our home location is the UK, so it's extremely important to us.

Alan

Indeed. Alice, what are your hopes and expectations for COP26?

Alice

So similar, the UK has got great opportunity. Everything that's come out recently, certainly points to the fact that the UK wants to be progressive and continue to really push the agenda. I am hopeful that we do see real progress being made in the same way that potentially we saw in Paris. I think there is a lot of work to do and we all know that. I am sure all of as companies are working behind the scenes to figure out, what to engage for, what to advocate for, and just work out the role that big UK business can play in COP26. So, BP is definitely thinking about that and working on that at the moment as well.

Alan

Gabrielle, if I might just see again, from your perspective and BT, what are you hoping to see from COP26 and especially as it is going to be actually in Glasgow as opposed to Edinburgh, as I said, so apologies for that Glasgow.

Gabrielle

You saw me saying Glasgow. I mentioned science-based targets aligned to 1.5-degree pathway. So, when we launched our target, we were the third company in the world to do so.

We now have hundreds of companies having committed to set 1.5-degree targets, but obviously that's not enough - we need to get 1000s of companies signed up to this journey. There is a campaign going on called a ‘Race to Zero’, which is around companies committing to align to Net Zero by 2050 at the latest. We just need to get so many more people, and companies, and organisations involved in this whole journey. So, my hope would be that through the various campaigns that are kicking off and will take on a new momentum as we get to 12-12, the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. I think, hopefully you'll see a lot more noise around this. BT has joined something called ‘Count us in’, which his campaign to get a billion citizens involved in taking climate action by 2030. How we as organisation can try and galvanise more people to commit to Net Zero.

Alan

Fantastic. Ben, as an investor, are you hoping for something different to come out at COP26. What do you want to see from that engagement from world leaders and the companies alike?

Ben

I think as investors, at the moment, a lot of us are role takers rather than role sectors. So, we are actually taking a view as to we know where it will point and go and then see. I think particularly where we are seeing with the US and that. the regulation and where we're seeing and there's going to be something more on carbon pricing and things, is coming down. Therefore, across like even though you will have different varying sets of buy-in amongst investors, we can see that, and we will then align, where we think and where investors in our scenarios and then questioning along that view.

There are some actually, I would say, on more of the primary capital market financing. You see this with your debt investors, less so in your equity, but particularly with your debt investors who are particularly interested because they give a lot of primary finance for new projects, new capital raising on that side. A lot of that they are more interested on that capital markets thing. And then from a UK perspective, a lot of the stuff we are talking about Green Bank 2.0, and those type of things will also be of very interest on that side of the balance sheet.

On the equity side, we are kind of more like role takers and things rather than influence, where that policy is going to be. So, we’re seeing that's pointing in one direction at the moment and we will see how that plays out.

Alan

Fantastic. I've just got one eye on the clock and is three minutes to go. With that I am going to draw the panel session to a close.

Firstly, a huge thank you to the four of you, Gabrielle, Ben, Alice, and to Claire. Incredibly, insightful just to hear about what your organisation's and also from that investor perspective around exactly what is it that you're doing, how you're starting to work, the changes that are going on within your organisation. But it was also clear that speed of change is happening now much faster and much more quickly than perhaps at any times before.

With that a huge thank you to you. I would normally ask at this point the audience to give a traditional thank you to you all, but I don't think that Google has that functionality for the little clapping symbol to come up, but thank you anyway, huge appreciation.

So, with that, I then want to just return back to the rest of the audience and say again a huge thank you to you also for joining us this morning, to hear a little bit about what is going on in and around the reporting agenda.

Clearly there are huge amounts of things going on, you have heard already some of the announcements and lots of change afoot. Actually, as a result of that, huge opportunities for all of us to engage in a way and to really have that impact and change that you might say we've been waiting for - our movement is now, if you like, in terms of the impact we can have in a positive way. Again, huge thank you to you for joining.

I'd also like to say thank you as well to Jon fellow partner for obviously presenting and also to my other PwC colleagues for helping to do all the hard work of reading those labours of love that you all produced in terms of reporting that you do, and someone out there is looking at the work that you do. We do look at these things in a lot of detail, and with that, we do have individual sort of benchmark reports that if you would like to see how your organisation fed through the reporting cycle this year, then please do you know reach out to us, and we can share that information with you. I did mention at the beginning, the two reports that we've got will also come out to you later today. Firstly, you will get a soft copy of both that sustainability as well as the carbon reporting and climate change implications.

I'll just leave you with one final thought before we go. That as we've entered into this decade of change, I think that we all know we are now in, someone told me that every five weeks that goes past is 1% of that time that we've got in this particular decade. So, make sure that every five weeks you've done something that you can be proud of and you can see some change in.

So, with that, thank you and have a great rest of day, and stay safe everybody.

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Tel: +44 (0)7711 915663

Julia Simmons

Julia Simmons

Marketing Executive, Client Relationship Programmes, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7702 698860

Samantha Kelley

Samantha Kelley

Marketing Manager, Client Relationship Programmes, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7595 849974

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