Recovery from Covid-19 must not come at the expense of environmental and social progress, KMPG UK has said.
“Inequality was a clearly emerging theme with the ESG agenda before the Covid crisis, but the pandemic has further unsettled this already fragile balance,” said Sue Bonney (pictured), head of ESG at KPMG.
“As we lean into a green recovery, we must put the just transition at the heart of our efforts to avoid irreparable destabilisation of our societies.”
Simon Weaver, co-head of climate risk and decarbonisation strategy at KPMG UK, added: “Covid has shone a spotlight on how systemic risk impacts across an economy. Following swiftly in its wake, climate change threatens to further unearth the fragility of our economic system and companies need to take swift action to analyse, identify and mitigate climate risks across their business model, as well as taking advantage of the opportunities the green recovery will bring.”
At the end of last year KPMG’s International’s Survey of Sustainability Reporting 2020 found sustainability reporting at the UK’s top 100 companies has dropped, and reporting biodiversity risks is critical for companies around the world.
“UK companies are increasingly seeing climate risk as a board-level strategic risk issue, with failure to take the appropriate steps potentially exposing them to material financial, legal, strategic and regulatory risk,” George Richards, associate partner of ESG assurance at KPMG UK said.
Bridget Beals, co-head of climate risk and decarbonisation strategy at KPMG UK, said: “With heightened scrutiny on business resilience and response, the imperative to act will only get stronger. The time has come for business leaders to seek expert advice and drive forward their own climate risk and decarbonisation strategies – looking in-depth at the nature and scale of the risks and opportunities their business faces from climate change, and embedding effective risk management into their strategic response.”