The study comes at a crucial moment, given a surge in requests for support in this area, according to Wasley and Alsop, either as stand-alone projects or included within broader sustainability and resilience support services.
“We’re seeing requests for TCFD services from both existing and new clients," they said. "Many of the companies we already provide support to, for example in strategy and reporting, resource optimization, value chain, and buildings and infrastructure, have asked us for assistance on aligning with and implementing the TCFD recommendations. Other clients ask us to focus on TCFD alignment for a six-month period so they can begin integrating it into their enterprise risk management processes or describe the inherent, relative, or residual risks in their next CDP Climate Change response. We’ve also had a significant increase in brand new clients looking for support to help them understand and align with TCFD recommendations.”
With the Task Force now in its fifth year, WSP’s TCFD experts are finding that the levels of client awareness and maturity vary considerably. Some have been exploring climate-related risks and opportunities since its formation in 2015. Others have yet to start reporting through the CDP Climate Change or GRESB Resilience Module questionnaires where TCFD is now embedded and are only just now beginning to explore what the TCFD recommendations mean for them.
But what Wasley and Alsop are seeing is an increasing sense of urgency around TCFD alignment. This they attribute to a variety of factors including financial impacts from physical and transition risks; investor pressure; regulatory changes post Paris; and market and technological advancement opportunities.
But they stress that regardless of the drivers, the process doesn’t have to be highly complex.
“Aligning with the TCFD recommendations can seem daunting if you’re not familiar with the framework or the steps necessary to align appropriately," they said. “However, we have found that a simple phased approach over time that starts with discovery, leading to assessment, then planning, and resulting in transformational change has been incredibly effective with our clients – regardless of their size, TCFD maturity, or resource availability.”