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KPMG: world’s leading firms not taking climate risks seriously

Consultancy says oil and gas companies leading in assessments of environmental and social risks

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Only 5% of the world’s top 250 companies take environmental risks to their operations seriously, according to consulting firm KPMG.

It warns that despite 75% of those businesses acknowledging resource scarcity and climate change pose a threat, few seem ready to factor this into their long term strategies.

“More and more investors accept that environmental and social megaforces put company value at stake,” said KPMG’s head of climate change Yvo de Boer.

“As their understanding grows, they will expect companies to be transparent about the risks they face, what the financial impacts of those risks could be and what the company is doing to mitigate them. Our research suggests that many companies still have a long way to go on that front.”

The report suggests the oil and gas sectors lead others in working out what financial costs they could face as a result of environmental hazards.

It also reveals that more companies in the Asia Pacific region are taking the concept of Corporate Sustainability Reporting (CSR) seriously, with the rate of reporting up from 49% in 2011 to 71% this year.

Shipping transport giant Maersk, car manufacturer BMW, together with Nestle and Hewlett-Packard were all praised for the “quality” of their reports.

KPMG says the electronics and computer sector “emerged as the leader” for submissions, followed by mining and pharmaceuticals.

VIDEO: Yvo de Boer discusses outcome of UN climate talks

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