Results of the Corporate Climate Crisis Awareness Study
Very low results were achieved by a hundred and fifty listed companies in the first Corporate Climate Crisis Awareness study conducted by the Foundation for Reporting Standards, the Polish Association of Listed Companies and Bureau Veritas. The average score was 1.03 out of a possible 10 points, with 66 out of 143 companies (over 46%) failing to achieve even a fraction of a point.
The study covered the annual reports of all companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in Poland, which are subject to the obligation to disclose non-financial information, for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018). The content of the reports was analysed against 10 criteria. Two of them concerned company policies or strategies with respect to climate crisis management and eight concerned reporting on greenhouse gas emissions.
“Unfortunately, the CCA study shows irrefutably what we had expected from reading the non-financial reports for the past two years: that awareness of the mutual impact of companies and the climate crisis among the largest companies in Poland is at a very low level,” said Piotr Biernacki, President of of the Foundation for Reporting Standards and the initiator of the study. “In Poland we are at a stage where we need to quickly catch up with companies from developed capital markets. First of all, companies have to learn how to evaluate and report on greenhouse gas emissions, because there are very large deficiencies here. Later, but still in the near future, they need to move on to implementing effective policies to reduce their negative impact on the environment in order to stop contributing to the deepening of the climate crisis,” added Piotr Biernacki.
The average result for the companies in the study was 1.03 points (out of the 10 possible) in 2018, only 0.09 points higher than in the previous year. The best company reached 7.33 points (7.67 points a year earlier). A total of 46% of the companies in 2018 did not score any points, and this percentage decreased only by 2 percentage points y/y. The highest average results were achieved by companies from the macro-sector of fuels and energy (an average of 2.60 pts in 2018, -0.21 pts y/y), and the lowest by companies from the macro-sector of trade and services (0.36 pts in 2018, -0.13 pts y/y). Only 32 companies achieved more than 2 pts, with only 6 companies achieving a minimum of 5 pts.
“The results of the study are worrying as both regulatory trends and consumer decisions increasingly take into account climate issues. I assume that in the next few months a company which does not publish reliable data on CO2 equivalent emissions per product unit will simply not be able to sell the product within the EU. What is more, it will have problems in obtaining financing, because which bank will grant a loan to a company that is losing markets? This is why this study is so important - it allows us to identify the biggest deficiencies in the published information and lead to its supplementation before it can cause serious business problems,” commented Mirosław Kachniewski, President of the Polish Association of Listed Companies.
“This is the first study of its type on climatic awareness of the entities focused on the capital market in Poland and, as far as we know, unique on an international scale. We were interested in how listed companies respond to the challenges resulting from the global climate crisis, and how they prepare for changes in the regulatory environment and in the behaviour of investors and consumers.
This is a thorough analysis conducted on the entire population, i.e. on all listed companies subject to the reporting obligation. Thanks to a joint initiative between Bureau Veritas, the Polish Association of Listed Companies and the Foundation for Reporting Standards, we have collected and evaluated data showing how listed companies approach climate issues and how they communicate them in their non-financial reports,” said Witold Dżugan, Certification Director at Bureau Veritas Polska.
“Unfortunately, the conclusions of the study for the years 2017 and 2018 are not encouraging. Only slightly more than 30% of the companies reported, more or less precisely, greenhouse gas emissions, only 10% communicated their climate policies, and only about 2% set measurable targets for emission reduction. Almost half of the companies in our study scored zero points, which means that they make no references to climate issues! All this is happening in an environment of growing awareness of the risks before us in the face of the climate crisis, along with the ever more far-reaching reduction commitments undertaken at the international level.
Our study shows that the climate awareness of Polish companies is low, but the fact that such study has been conducted, after the analysis of more than 150 stock exchange reports by independent entities, has value in itself. It is a chance to change the way companies approach this increasingly urgent global problem. The more so since it is not only a matter of awareness, it also has a growing impact on the availability of capital or even on the financial results of companies. We are considering not only continuing our joint study in the years to come, but also extending it to other countries thanks to the global presence of Bureau Veritas,” added Witold Dżugan.
The results of the first edition of the Corporate Climate Crisis Awareness Study were announced at the ESG Reporting and Sustainable Investment Conference organised by the Polish Association of Listed Companies. The methodology and results of the study are publicly available on the websites of: The Foundation for Reporting Standards (www.standardy.org.pl), the Polish Association of Listed Companies (www.seg.org.pl) and Bureau Veritas Polska.
For more information, please contact:
Piotr Biernacki, Foundation for Reporting Standards, tel. +48 693 330 003
Magdalena Raczek-Kołodyńska, Polish Association of Listed Companies, tel. +48 509 357 280
Michał Stalmach, Bureau Veritas Polska, tel. +48 609 801 071
Mikołaj Potocki, Bureau Veritas Polska, tel. +48 601 664 247
About the study
The Corporate Climate Crisis Awareness study is a project of the Foundation for Reporting Standards, the Polish Association of Listed Companies and Bureau Veritas. The aim of the project is to regularly study which companies are aware of their impact on climate change. The results of the study are announced to the public. The study is conducted in accordance with an established and transparent methodology and is based on information provided by the companies in their annual reports.
The project initiators want to raise the awareness of large and medium-sized enterprises about their impact on climate change and, at the same time, to provide investors, customers and all other public stakeholders with reliable, measurable and comparable data to assess which enterprises take climate change considerations into account in their management processes.
About the project initiators
The Foundation for Reporting Standards is a non-governmental organisation whose aim is to improve the quality of information, reporting and communication on the capital and financial markets. It was established in 2015 on the initiative of the Polish Association of Listed Companies, the Association of Individual Investors and the Association of Brokers and Advisers.
The Foundation, through the consultation process, developed and conducted the General Reporting Standards (OSR) concerning price reporting by listed companies and the Non-Financial Information Standard (SIN) concerning reporting of non-financial information. The universal nature of the Foundation and cooperation with organisations associating various market stakeholder groups make OSR and SIN environmental standards.
The Foundation also conducts research and educational activities in the field of communication and reporting on capital and financial markets.
The Polish Association of Listed Companies (Stowarzyszenie Emitentów Giełdowych) is an expert organization which has been operating since 1993. The main objective of the SEG is to provide support to companies in terms of information (providing information on legislative changes), education (organising seminars and conferences) and legal aspects (preparing legal opinions, recommendations and interpretations of new regulations). The SEG undertakes work for the development of the Polish capital market and represents the interests of companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Currently, the Association comprises approximately 250 companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and the alternative New Connect market, representing over 90% of the capitalisation of domestic issuers listed on the WSE.
Bureau Veritas, founded in 1828, is a world leader in the TIC (Testing, Inspection and Certification) industry, providing high quality services to help customers meet the ever-increasing demands for quality, occupational health and safety, environmental protection and social responsibility.
The company supports its customers in sustainable development by translating CSR values into concrete actions. It offers a range of services related to environmental standards, including the calculation and verification of carbon footprint, verification and evaluation of CSR reports on the adequacy, accuracy and quality of the information contained therein (according to the GRI standards), verification and certification in the supply chain, and certification of management systems.
Bureau Veritas employs 75,000 people in 140 countries on all continents.