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Regulation to Pose new Challenges for UK ESG Reporting

The UK’s largest private and listed companies are improving on ten ESG reporting trends tracked in a new KPMG report, but progress required is still “far from over” due to incoming regulation. The report found that 85% of the 100 firms – comprised of 58 FTSE100, 16 FTSE250, 16 private, and 10 other companies, including UK subsidiaries of US-listed companies and co- operatives – have now set a net zero carbon emissions target within their annual reports and/or ESG report. More than six in ten companies referenced climate change or climate-related risk in their financial statements, while 80% of companies identified material ESG topics in their reporting. According to the report, there is “increasing volume, breadth and depth of ESG disclosures and data being prepared and reported year-on-year”. George Richards, KPMG’s UK Head of ESG Reporting and Assurance, said: “Currently, ESG disclosures continue to be overwhelmingly narrative-driven, rather than publishing quantitative or financial data regarding impacts. The next couple of years will see rapid change in regulatory requirements which will significantly increase the level of granularity and quantification that is needed in that reporting – creating a whole new level of challenge for companies.” 

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