New FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulation has made it mandatory for companies to disclose how their investments are affecting the climate. The regulations that came into effect on the 30th of June 2023, outline six performance metrics including, how companies are contributing to the carbon footprint and green gas emissions.
FDM consultant Sridevi Singaram works as a project manager for a large financial services company. She returned to work after a career break and has been spearheading the company’s first-of-its-kind report to boost transparency in climate-related risks and opportunities.
In yet another accolade for FDM, we are delighted to be recognised as a FTSE4Good company in the 2023 June review. The FTSE4Good Index Series is designed to measure the performance of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices.
At FDM we are constantly exploring ways to improve our own environmental and social practices. This is why we’re so proud of the pathbreaking work our consultants are doing with clients across sustainability and compliance.
We spoke to Sridevi to find out a bit about the compliance report and what it means for corporate responsibility to sustainability.
… but first a bit about her background –
Sridevi graduated with a degree in medical sciences and worked for a pharmaceuticals company doing market intelligence reporting. Later, she moved to India and ran a successful start-up with 500 pharmacies offering optical services for eye hospitals. Alternating between the UK and India, Sridevi finally settled in the UK permanently in April 2019. Soon after, the pandemic hit and finding work became a two-year challenge. In 2022 she attended a women returners platform where she came across FDM and joined our AWS Returners Programme.
During her 2-year break, she spent time reskilling and upskilling in things like Prince 2 and management courses. She also spent time learning Welsh and photography!
Working at client-site
At the end of her training Sridevi was placed with the financial services company who needed to ensure compliance with the new regulations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
TCFD is an international organisation established to promote more informed investing, lending, and insurance underwriting decisions. The Task Force recommends compliance guidelines for all financial and non-financial organisations with public debt or equity, because climate-related risks and opportunities are relevant for all sectors. In addition, the Task Force believes that asset managers and asset owners, including public and private-sector pension plans, endowments, and foundations, should implement its recommendations.
Managing the workload
The project involved 2 major elements:
- Publishing information about the company’s strategic approach to climate-related risk management.
- Creating individual reports for several hundred investments, each showing climate-related metrics.
As project manager, Sridevi had to co-ordinate input from climate science, fund data and pension experts in order to create a transparent and accurate report in line with regulatory requirements.
This was not an easy task as huge volumes of very complex data had to be collected and then interpreted in an understandable way to the common public. The report is meant to be the basis for people to make financial decisions and Sridevi worked with communications specialists like ESG writers to produce a clear and lucid narrative.
The compliance report is going to be an annual project – much like a company’s Gender Pay Gap and financial reports. Next year’s finding will be used to do a comparative analysis with the first year’s report.
This was a brand-new project not just for the fin sector but for businesses as a whole. In spite of the TCFD’s book of guidelines, there was much uncertainty among the compliance and regulatory teams about what to disclose and how. However, now that a format has been established, the report will be easier to put together in future.
How will the TCFD compliance shape the way big organisations deal with their corporate responsibility to sustainability?
Sridevi believes that the new regulation will allow the common man to easily access how funds are being used by a company they’re looking to invest in. This will help them make more informed financial decisions.
FDM and sustainability
At FDM we are committed to improving our results to be a socially responsible employer both for our people and the environment. In 2022, we increased our renewable source electricity consumption to 58% from 32% in 2021.
We also achieved low annual greenhouse gas emissions of 0.48 tCO2e per employee for 2022.
Read our full Social and Environmental report.