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Expanded service offerings – Human rights

Point Advisory is pleased to announce that we are expanding our service offerings in 2019 to include a new business line – human rights.

Time to get started on ‘Business and human rights’

With the enactment of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act in late 2018, companies with annual revenue over $100 million will need to make annual public reports (Modern Slavery Statements) on their actions to address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. The below diagram summarises the requirements that commence in financials years commencing in 2019.

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery relates to a range of significant human rights breaches typically on people in vulnerable situations and includes human trafficking, slavery, child labour, debt-bondage, forced labour and personal servitude. It can occur within an organisation’s operations and supply chain.

Point Advisory can support your organisation in meeting the requirements of the new Act and enhance your approach to respecting and advancing human rights. Our team has practical experience in implementing responsible sourcing practices, meeting the requirements of modern slavery legislation globally, developing human right policies, and benchmarking human rights performance.

For further information on our human rights services visit our website or contact Alan Dayeh

Climate change and human rights: Our integrated sustainability approach

The Human Rights Council has stressed that it is critical to apply a human rights-based approach to guide policies and measures designed to address climate change. To support this, our climate change and human rights specialists work together to incorporate a rights-based approach to ensure that climate change strategies, risk management, mitigation and adaptation programs do not detract from the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. This includes considering risks of creating unintended inequalities, vulnerabilities, or discriminatory practices as a result of our clients’ climate change responses. Climate risk and the recommendations of the G20’s Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (‘TCFD’) are increasingly becoming a topic for discussion for Boards and investors.

Showcase – Climate Risk

As ASIC said towards the end of 2018, “Climate change is a foreseeable risk facing many listed companies in the Australian market in a range of different industries. Directors and officers of listed companies need to understand and continually reassess existing and emerging risks (including climate risk) that may affect the company’s business.”[1]

Point Advisory has developed a suite of services that brings together our team’s capabilities in risk management, economic modelling, scenario analysis, carbon management, target setting, adaptation planning and corporate reporting to offer end-to-end support as organisations look to understand and manage their climate-related  risks and opportunities in line with the TCFD recommendations.

We are pleased to have supported several clients in their climate risk journeys recently, including the delivery of a climate-related physical risk assessment for a large multi-site industrial client, a TCFD disclosure gap analysis and initial climate risk assessment for Incitec Pivot Limited, and the development of Westernport Water’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan, amongst others.

For further information on our climate risk services visit our website or contact a member of our team – Christophe Brulliard and Marisa Sanchez Urrea

[1] Australian Securities and Investments Commission, September 2018, Report 593: Climate risk disclosure by Australia’s listed companies.

The Seven Steps of Climate-related Scenario Analysis

Planners and decision makers are often required to develop strategies in the face of an uncertain future. Climate change adds an additional (and substantial) layer of uncertainty to the mix.

Scenario analysis is an established method for developing and stress testing management responses under such conditions of deep uncertainty. Effectively a ‘what-if?’ test, each scenario presents a combination of plausible and internally consistent future events to planners and decision makers. A set of scenarios is used to span a range of possible futures that are outside the timespans of day-to-day decision-making.

In June 2017, the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (FSB TCFD) suggested that “organizations should use scenario analysis to assess potential business, strategic, and financial implications of climate-related risks and opportunities…”. The FSB followed this with a Technical Supplement on the use of Scenario Analysis.

Point Advisory have found the FSB’s technical supplement to be useful in application. However, we have also found that some organisations have difficulty in translating the FSB’s guidance into tangible steps. To assist, we have developed the following seven-step approach:

  1. Establish the organization’s context: Scenarios should be relevant to the organisation’s environment, including markets and competition, supply chains, etc. The planning horizons will be important in defining scenarios’ own milestones.
  2. Understand current governance: Scenarios will facilitate decision making; scenario development therefore need to be cognisant of how decisions are made.
  3. Assess climate-related risks and opportunities: This step could be the subject of its own article (or text book). Climate related future scenarios will modify these risks, but it is important to have a solid starting point and understand the risk areas to make sure scenarios have a higher level of resolutions within those areas.
  4. Develop the scenario set: This is the crux of the matter. Based on research and consultation, a set of scenarios can be defined. To ensure they are useful all assumptions should be clearly stated and then reviewed by key internal participants. The resulting scenarios should be plausible, internally consistent, relevant and challenging.
  5. Apply the scenarios: The scenarios are but a tool. Planners and decision makers use them to explore the implications of scenarios on decisions, strategies or objectives. This is the “stress test” and the key question to be asked is: How would existing (or proposed) strategies, decisions or actions perform under each scenario?
  6. Use the results of scenario analysis to influence strategic planning or to improve existing management responses. This is best done by embedding insights from the previous steps into processes, policies and the culture of the organization.
  7. Close the governance loop: Monitor, review, document, disclose and repeat as appropriate.

For further information please contact Christophe Brulliard and Ben Sichlau.

Upcoming Melbourne event: Journey to a net zero world…

Upcoming event: Journey to a net zero world…

Can you imagine a net zero emissions world? What does it look like? And how do we get there by 2050?

To achieve the Paris Climate Agreement commitments and have a chance of keeping global temperature rise below 2°C, we basically need to achieve ‘net zero’ emissions globally by 2050. So it’s not surprising that we’re seeing a huge increase in interest in the net zero concept – from defining emissions reduction pathways through to setting science-based targets and organisational carbon neutral commitments.

But what does net zero really mean? What are our state and local governments doing to reduce their fair share of emissions? How is the Australian private sector taking on the challenge to stay ahead of the game and remain competitive? And what steps can individual organisations take to start the journey to net zero?

Come and join us for a drink, a snack and a lively discussion about these questions. Expect interesting insights from both the public and private sector and some good examples on how the net zero concept can be translated into action.

Who will be there? The following panellists will share with you their insights on their work towards net zero emissions:

What will we talk about? We will create a forum for both government and private sector attendees to discuss the transition to a net zero economy. Our panellists will discuss:

  • Victoria’s legislated net zero target and the Climate Change Act 2017
  • how they are taking on the challenge and putting measures in place to contribute their fair share to reach net zero
  • the main barriers and challenges faced
  • key lessons learnt as they act on their commitments.

We’re expecting an interactive discussion, and will allow plenty of time for networking and continuing the conversation over a glass of wine.

Event details: The event will be held at Point Advisory’s offices in Melbourne’s CBD from 5pm to 7.30pm on Thursday 19 April. Drinks and nibbles provided.

Please click here to visit our Eventbrite site to RSVP.

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