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Climate Essentials

UK Transition Plan Taskforce Framework

Author
Freddie HouseVice President, UK
Reviewer
Raphael GüllerCofounder and CDO
Category
Climate Essentials
Topics
Regulations
Published
12 October 2023

In recent years, businesses publicly reporting their carbon emissions and ESG risks has become a fundamental practice. Looking ahead, the next pivotal step for many of them will be the development and publication of transition plans, highlighting their strategies for achieving decarbonisation targets. These plans are not only essential for compliance but are also integral to adhering to existing and forthcoming climate regulations in the EU, UK, and US.

In this evolving landscape, the Transition Plan Taskforce in the United Kingdom is emerging as a pivotal initiative that promises to reshape how UK and private sector businesses approach sustainability, particularly in reducing emissions. In this blog post, we'll explore the Transition Plan Taskforce and what it means for businesses.

What is the UK Transition Plan Taskforce?

The Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) is an initiative led by the UK Treasury, with support from major companies such as Aviva Plc, London Stock Exchange Group Plc, and Unilever Plc. This taskforce has set out to develop a 'gold standard' for corporate transition plans that specifically address carbon emissions reductions. These plans encompass not only a company's internal operations but also its supply chains, making them a holistic approach to sustainability. The framework was developed to align with the transition planning guidance which was developed by the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, and to be in congruence with the ISSB's reporting standards. It officially launched on 9 October 2023.

What is the purpose of the climate transition plans?

The primary goal of these transition plans is to provide companies with a clear path toward reducing their carbon emissions and meeting their net zero commitments. While many businesses have set ambitious net-zero emission goals, the effectiveness of these goals largely depends on tangible action and a high level of accountability. Climate transition plans bridge this gap, ensuring that they have actionable strategies for reducing emissions and achieving their sustainability goals.

Which companies are covered?

The TPT disclosure framework is anticipated to primarily apply to listed companies in the United Kingdom. Further guidance and specifics regarding its scope are anticipated to emerge in 2024 in conjunction with the rollout of the UK's forthcoming Sustainability Disclosure Standards (SDS).

What does it mean for investors?

Investors play a crucial role in driving businesses toward sustainability. Leading asset managers like Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) emphasize the need for clear and high-quality transition plans. For investors, these plans are essential for assessing the credibility of a company's progress toward sustainability goals. The TPT's framework provides investors with the information needed to make informed decisions about their investments in companies committed to sustainability.

What is the expected impact?

The Transition Plan Taskforce has the potential to significantly impact how businesses address sustainability. By providing a foundation for companies to develop credible and robust transition plans, it will transform their approach to carbon emissions reduction. These transition plans are expected to become an integral part of a company's annual reporting on business strategy.

The new disclosure framework developed by the TPT is not only a game-changer in the UK but also an example of global climate leadership. This initiative was initially introduced at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow in 2021. The UK aimed to position itself as the world's first net-zero-aligned financial centre. While the UK has faced challenges in maintaining its climate leadership status, initiatives like the TPT's recommendations reaffirm its commitment to tackling climate change.

Key figures in the industry have praised the Transition Plan Taskforce's final disclosure framework for its role in promoting transparency and accountability. Amanda Blanc, CEO of Aviva Group, and Baroness Penn, Treasury Minister, have recognized the final disclosure framework as a critical step in accelerating the shift to a net-zero economy. It ensures that companies are not merely making promises but are taking concrete actions to address carbon emissions.

What is the timeline?

Companies are expected to adopt the TPT disclosure framework and start disclosing their transition plans from 2025 onwards. The first reporting based on these plans is scheduled for 2026. This timeline provides businesses with a structured path toward sustainable practices, making it clear that the time for meaningful action is now.

How can you prepare?

At the heart of any transition plan lies your company's overarching commitment to decarbonization. Here are some key steps that you should follow to prepare?

Before delving into the construction of your transition plan, undertake a thorough assessment of climate-related risks. Identify and evaluate potential risks that could impact your business operations. Understanding the materiality of these risks is vital, as it forms the basis for your long-term plan.

2. Define ambitious decarbonisation goals

A fundamental cornerstone of your transition plan is the establishment of ambitious decarbonisation objectives. This overarching ambition will serve as the guiding star for your entire plan. It's essential that these goals align with the Transition Plan Taskforce's key principles of "ambition." Setting ambitious targets, such as reaching net-zero emissions, is not only essential for global climate goals but also sends a clear message of your commitment to a sustainable future.

3. Identify key initiatives and actions

An effective transition plan necessitates a comprehensive evaluation of your organisation's emissions landscape. Identify specific emissions hotspots within your company, along with key reduction initiatives and actionable steps to address these challenges. By aligning these actions with your overarching decarbonization goals, you are complying with TPT's principles of "action."

4. Establish governance and reporting structures

The TPR emphasizes the importance of "accountability" in its guiding principles. This underscores the necessity of strong governance mechanisms for your transition plan. Building these structures should involve key stakeholders and executives who are responsible for overseeing the plan's implementation. Ensure that your governance framework is robust, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

What's the bottom line?

As the UK government continues to focus on its climate leadership ambitions, the TPT disclosure framework ensures that companies have the tools and frameworks needed to transition toward a more climate resilient economy and environmentally responsible future. Businesses that embrace this initiative are not only addressing the urgent call for climate action but also future-proofing their operations for a world that demands greater accountability and responsibility in the fight against climate change.

Sweep can help you prepare for the TPT Framework

Use Sweep to prepare for the TPT framework. Our platform enables you to collect ESG data from across your value chain and implement an effective reduction plan. 

Contact us today to find out more. 

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