Global environmental challenges
– Kathy Nieland is U.S. Sustainability and Climate Change leader for global accounting and advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also serves on the independent, not-for-profit Carbon Disclosure Project. The views expressed are her own. –
If you think the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new interpretative guidance on disclosing the risks of climate change applies only to big polluters, think again.
The guidance is evidence that the SEC views climate change as among the potential business risks that companies should evaluate and disclose.
It clarifies that public companies will need to evaluate the potential material impact of legislation, regulation and international accords related to climate change. Companies in every industry will need to use this guidance and make a determination if climate change poses material risks to their supply chains, distribution networks and physical assets. This may include, but is not limited to, severe weather events, scarcer water supplies and changes in demand for resources such as heating fuel, for example.