Newsletter: A Dire Warning

Four Twenty Seven's monthly newsletter highlights recent developments in climate adaptation and resilience. This month, we focus on recent scientific evidence of growing climate impacts, and highlight new resources to help the financial sector take action and manage exposure to climate change.

In Focus: Science Calls for Urgent Action

Recent Scientific Reports Send Dire Warning on Rapid Climate Change

At least 15 extreme weather events during 2017 were made more likely due to climate change according to the seventh "Explaining Extreme Events" report released last week. The research by the American Meteorological Society examined 16 extreme weather events for climate fingerprints, finding that climate change influenced events ranging from droughts in the U.S. and East Africa to floods in South America, China and Bangladesh, and heat waves in the Mediterranean and China.

Also released last week, NOAA's 2018 Arctic Report Card finds that Arctic air temperatures are still warming twice as fast as elsewhere and that sea ice was younger, thinner and less extensive than other years in 2018.

These findings come on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. This report showed that warming of 1.5°C by 2050 will significantly affect global heat waves, arctic sea ice, sea level rise, species lost, crop yields coral reefs and fisheries. This in turn, will lead to cascading impacts on communities and economies globally.
 

Further Reading

  • About one-third of the Arctic's infrastructure is on permafrost that has a high chance of thawing by mid-century, based on warming that is already locked in, according to a new report published in Nature (read the summary on Earther). 
  • The New York Times' Brad Plumer outlines five key adaptation takeaways from the U.S. 4th National Climate Assessment, which includes a chapter on adaptation.
  • This is an engaging and deep exploration of the diverse impacts of climate change on ocean life and the rippling effects it has on economies and livelihoods around the world, from Reuters. 
Four Twenty Seven Wins Risk Markets Technology Alternative Data Provider Award 

Award Reflects Growing Interest of Financial Markets in Climate Data

Four Twenty Seven was awarded the 2019 Risk Markets Technology Award for Alternative Data Vendor of the Year. The Risk Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious among industry commendations,  recognizing leadership in the global derivatives markets and in risk management.

The award from Risk Magazine is a clear signal that financial markets are starting to take climate risk seriously. Investors who wish to develop a fully-informed view of their portfolios need forward-looking data on the impacts of climate change on corporations and public issuers and they're increasingly eager for this data. A judge noted that Four Twenty Seven's “Deep datasets and sophisticated analytics, [are] setting a high bar in what will become of increasing concern to investors.” 

Announcements at COP 24 echoed this theme, as 415 asset managers wrote a letter urging their governments to act on climate change, accompanied by a briefing paper for policy-makers emphasizing the economic risks posed by climate change and the importance of the Paris Agreement. Investor action is also growing in the U.S., where banks such as Bank of America and BNP Paribas joined the new U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance to help propel adaptation and clean energy investment in the U.S. 
Read Risk Magazine's Announcement
Industry Guidance on Financial Climate Risks

Navigating Climate Scenario Analysis

This guide to scenario analysis provides resources for institutional investors to leverage scenario analysis for both transition and physical risks. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) highlights 10 key takeaways, surveying the current landscape of scenario analysis and emphasizing the importance of understanding the process and intentionally weighing the trade-offs between comprehensive and simple approaches. IIGCC also includes examples from asset managers already working on this and features a list of curated data providers, including Four Twenty Seven. 

Getting started on Physical Climate Risk analysis in finance -
Available approaches and the way forward

The Institute for Climate Economics surveys the landscape of financial climate data providers, in this report for investors. The report provides a detailed comparison of relevant data offerings that currently enable investors to assess and address climate risk in their portfolios, including numerous references to Four Twenty Seven's data products for equities, munis, sovereigns and real assets. The analysis compares providers based on their time horizon, intended audience, hazards, granularity and use cases.

Experts on Climate Change

This DWS report integrates several perspectives on the implications of climate change for institutional investors, starting with a scientific call to action from Dr. Emily Shuckburgh at the British Antarctic Survey. The report is a compilation of essays covering the fiduciary duty of trustees to understand the materiality of climate risks, actuarial responsibility to consider climate change, the current landscape of regulation around climate risks and pension funds' view of climate change, and an approach to integrating climate risk into an ESG engine. 

The Private Sector's Climate Change Risk and Adaptation Blind Spots


New research on corporate CDP responses reveals that corporate disclosures likely underestimate the costs of physical climate-related risks and that few companies disclosed indirect climate risks relating to the broader community, which affect businesses through supply chains, consumer preferences, and employee commutes. The report shows 76% of companies reporting climate risks use soft adaptation approaches, such as planning, 47% used hard approaches such as technology upgrades and only 3.3% reported ecosystem-based adaptation. As more businesses asses their exposure to climate change risks, they must take the next step of investing in adaptation.
Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team at these upcoming events:

  • January 6-10 – 99th AMS Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ: Senior Data Analyst, Josh Turner, will present a poster on the California Heat Assessment Tool and Senior Data Analyst, Colin Gannon, will also join this convening of meteorologists and climate scientists.
  • January 7-10 NCSE 2019 Annual Conference, Washington, DC: Director of Advisory Services, Yoon Kim, and Strategic Advisor, Josh Sawislak, will facilitate sessions on private sector roles in building community resilience and on climate-ready infrastructure, respectively.
  • February 12 – Investing for Impact, New York, NY: Hear Founder & CEO, Emilie Mazzacurati, present on adaptation as an impact investment opportunity at this annual convening hosted by The Economist.
  • March 20-22 – Climate Leadership Conference, Baltimore, MD: Emilie Mazzacurati will speak about the evolving landscape of climate risk disclosure.
  • April 10-12 – RI Asia Japan, Tokyo, Japan: Chief Development Officer, Frank Freitas, will present on climate analytics for investors.  
  • April 13-16  – APA National Planning Conference, San Francisco, CA: Yoon Kim and Director of Analytics, Nik Steinberg, will speak on a panel called, "Beyond Vulnerability: Innovative Adaptation Planning."
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Copyright © 2018 Four Twenty Seven, All rights reserved.
Four Twenty Seven sends a newsletter focused on bringing climate intelligence into economic and financial decision-making for investors, corporations and governments. Fill in the form below to join our mailing list. As data controller, we collect your email address with your consent in order to send you our newsletter. Four Twenty Seven will never share your mailing information with anyone and you may unsubscribe at any moment. Please read our Terms and Conditions.
 

Our mailing address is:
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Four Twenty Seven Wins Risk Markets Technology Award

NOVEMBER 27, 2018 – LONDON, UK – Four Twenty Seven Wins Risk Markets Technology Award for Alternative Data Vendor of the Year for 2019.

Four Twenty Seven was awarded the 2019 Risk Markets Technology Award for Alternative Data Vendor of the Year. The Risk Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious among industry commendations,  recognizing leadership in the global derivatives markets and in risk management.

Investors who wish to develop a fully-informed view of their portfolios need forward-looking data on the impacts of climate change on corporations and public issuers that incorporate the most recent developments in climate science. Risk Magazine recognized Four Twenty Seven’s  work to fill this void. “Rapid intensification of the effects of both acute climate events like hurricanes and wildfires and chronic effects like sea level rise and increases in temperatures present an increasingly meaningful type of exposure for investors,” said Emilie Mazzacurati, Four Twenty Seven Founder and CEO. “This risk is currently only priced into the market ex post – we see corrections in asset prices in the wake of events only to the extent that their exposure to these events is known.”

Four Twenty Seven helps firms price the risk ex ante by extracting data from global climate models and other scientific datasets to project asset-level risk exposure to a number of hazards, including hurricane-force winds, sea level rise, flooding, heat stress and water stress. Four Twenty Seven’s database of risk exposures, now scores over one million corporate facilities representing 2,000 of the worlds largest companies, combining exposure with detailed data on market and supply chain characteristics.

“Our data is catalyzing change across the financial sector,” said Mazzacurati. “Our analytics help leading investors and corporations understand climate change’s impact on their assets and take steps to reduce this risk by investing in resilience.” Four Twenty Seven’s clients include pension funds, asset managers, corporations, development banks and regulators, who use our analytics to understand risks in their existing portfolios, assess risks of potential asset acquisitions and engage with management teams to build resilience in supply chains and physical assets.

Download the 2019 Risk Markets Technology Awards Announcement.

Read Risk Magazine’s article.

Newsletter: TCFD Reporting on the Rise

Four Twenty Seven's monthly newsletter highlights recent developments in climate adaptation and resilience. This month, don't miss highlights from this year's risk reporting cycle, new resources for implementing the TCFD recommendations and opportunities to get involved in developing best-practices for climate risk disclosure! 

In Focus: TCFD Reporting on the Rise

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures Status Report


The first Status Report from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), released earlier this fall, summarizes the ways in which financial reports incorporate the TCFD recommendations. It includes a review of over 1,700 companies including banks, insurance, asset managers and asset owners representing the financial sector and energy, transportation, materials and agriculture in non-financial sectors.

While most of these companies made disclosures that aligned with at least one TCFD recommendation, companies rarely disclosed the financial impact of climate change and integrating scenario analysis remains a challenge. The report emphasizes the need for more "decision-useful" information and notes that TCFD integration will require continued industry-specific thought-leadership and knowledge exchange.
 

France Leads the Way with Article 173 Reports 

The TCFD status report found that Europe had the highest percentage of companies integrating TCFD guidance into their disclosures, perhaps influenced by legislation such as France's Law on Energy Transition and Green Growth, with its Article 173 which mandates the disclosure of both physical and transition risks. Several French investors incorporate TCFD recommendations into their Article 173 reports, for example:
Awards and Best Practices for TCFD Reporting

The Leading Edge of Climate Risk Reporting

The Asset Owners Disclosure Project's (AODP) report Winning Climate Strategies: Practical solutions and building blocks for asset owners from beginner to best practice surveys the landscape of physical climate risk approaches to date, featuring investors such as Four Twenty Seven clients Aviva and First State Super for their innovative efforts to understand and address the portfolio risk posed by physical climate change.
AODP Global Climate Index 2018 for Pension Funds also gives a AAA rating, the highest score, to Four Twenty Seven client FRR, in recognition of its exhaustive effort to provide transparency on climate risk in its portfolios.

Four Twenty Seven Receives UNCTAD ISAR Honours for Climate Risk Scores

Four Twenty Seven was recognized by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) with ISAR Honours for our company climate risk scores that support emerging best practices in corporate reporting. The International Standards of Accounting and Reporting Honour (ISAR) fosters the dissemination of initiatives that improve global corporate reporting and integrate environmental, social and governance factors into reporting cycles.
Resources for Climate Risk Disclosure

Interactive Online Tool with Sector-specific Guidance from EBRD

What should disclosures look like, in practice? The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched a Knowledge Hub with case studies and emerging best practices around physical climate risk and opportunity disclosures.
This interactive platform allows users to easily navigate to Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Power & Energy, Mining or Commercial Property sectors to access case studies with examples of approaching risks, opportunities and scenario analysis in physical risk disclosure. 

IGCC Report Outlines Resources for Australian Asset Managers

The Investor Group on Climate Change's report Investing in Resilience: Tools and frameworks for managing physical climate risk is a concise resource guide for investors striving to incorporate physical climate risk into their decision-making. Specifically targeting Australian investors, the report includes a diverse set of risk assessment tools, ranging from Australian-specific geospatial tools to global datasets such as Four Twenty Seven's.
Opportunities to Get Involved

Sign on to Support the TCFD

Individuals, governments and private companies are all invited to join investors in officially supporting the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Four Twenty Seven is part of a group of over 500 organizations already acknowledging the TCFD as an important framework for promoting transparency during the urgent transition to a resilient economy.
 

Events Section on the TCFD Knowledge Hub

Sort by theme and location to find events on TCFD implementation that are applicable to your work and browse the new Case Studies section of the TCFD Knowledge Hub to learn from others with similar challenges. 
 

Opportunity for Investors to Contribute to Research on ESG Integration

Responsible Investor (RI) is investigating how ESG is integrated into investment decisions and is asking investors to fill out this five minute survey to share their approach to ESG. RI is seeking input from all perspectives, including investors who are active in the ESG space and those who are skeptical of these approaches. Respondents will remain anonymous and answers will not be attributable.
Assessing Risk to Build Resilience

Four Twenty Seven Appointed to Develop Resilience Primer for Shipping

Four Twenty Seven will develop a primer on best-practices and opportunities for building climate resilience in the shipping sector as part of the Resilience Shift initiative from Lloyds' Register. The initiative fosters global infrastructure resilience through projects, investments and events and Four Twenty Seven will support this effort by engaging with key stakeholders in the shipping sector to create industry-specific guidance on resilience strategies.

Webinar Recording: Climate Risk in Real Estate

Watch this webinar recording to learn about Four Twenty Seven and GeoPhy’s analysis of exposure to physical climate hazards in global real estate investment trusts (REITs).  The presentations includes key findings from the white paper, Climate Risk, Real Estate, and the Bottom Line and a discussion of how physical climate data is leveraged in financial risk reporting for the real estate sector.
Inside the Office at Four Twenty Seven

Meet Vice President of Engineering, Klaus Fabian

Our VP of Engineering, Klaus Fabian, is automating our data analytics platform, building the user-interface that our clients are looking forward to. Klaus draws on more than 25 years of experience in new product development.

Klaus co-founded and served as CTO of Incorta, a business intelligence and analytics software provider funded by Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.

Previously he managed business intelligence and reporting software at Oracle, including BI Publisher and served as product manager for the Aegis Equity Portfolio Risk Analysis suite at MSCI (then Barra).
Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:

  • November 13-15 – International Summit at Greenbuild Conference and Expo, Chicago, IL: Emilie Mazzacurati will provide the luncheon plenary address, "Climate Intelligence: Decision-making in the Age of Climate Change," on Tues Nov. 13.
  • November 16 – Methodologies and Tools to Evaluate the Financial Impact of Climate-related Risks and Opportunities, Milan, Italy: Nathalie Borgeaud will present Four Twenty Seven's methodology to assess physical climate risk in financial portfolios during this workshop.
  • November 27 - Risk Awards Gala, London, UK. Emilie Mazzacurati and Frank Freitas will join for the longest-running and most prestigious awards for firms and individuals involved in the global derivatives markets and in risk management.
  • November 26-28 – UNEP FI Global Roundtable & Climate Finance Day, Paris, France: Emilie Mazzacurati, Frank Freitas and Nathalie Borgeaud will participate in these events dedicated to mobilizing the financial sector to create a sustainable financial system.
  • December 4 – Investment Without Displacement: Solutions for Equitable, Healthy and Vibrant Communities, Los Angeles, CA: Manager Kendall Starkman will present data on climate risk in real estate during a panel on climate change's impact on housing markets. Invite-only.
  • December 5-6 – RI Americas, New York, NY: Hear Frank Freitas speak on a panel about climate risk in real estate markets and visit the Four Twenty Seven booth.
  • December 10-14 – AGU Fall Meeting, Washington, DC: Director of Analytics, Nik Steinberg, will present on the California Heat Assessment Tool at this annual meeting of climate scientists.
  • January 6-10 – 99th AMS Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ: Senior Data Analyst, Josh Turner, will present a poster on the California Heat Assessment tool during this convening of meteorologists and climate scientists.
  • January 7-10 NCSE 2019 Annual Conference, Washington, DC: Director of Advisory Services, Yoon Kim, and Strategic Advisor, Josh Sawislak, will facilitate sessions on private sector roles in building community resilience and on climate-ready infrastructure, respectively.
  • February 12 – Investing for Impact, New York, NY: Hear Emilie Mazzacurati present on physical climate risks and opportunities at this annual convening hosted by The Economist.
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Copyright © 2018 Four Twenty Seven, All rights reserved.
Four Twenty Seven sends a newsletter focused on bringing climate intelligence into economic and financial decision-making for investors, corporations and governments. Fill in the form below to join our mailing list. As data controller, we collect your email address with your consent in order to send you our newsletter. Four Twenty Seven will never share your mailing information with anyone and you may unsubscribe at any moment. Please read our Terms and Conditions.
 

Our mailing address is:
Four Twenty Seven
2000 Hearst Ave
Ste 304
Berkeley, CA 94709

Four Twenty Seven Received ISAR Honours

OCTOBER 24, 2018 – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Four Twenty Seven received ISAR Honours for asset-level climate risk scores.

ISAR Honours recognized Four Twenty Seven’s contribution to developing best practices on corporate reporting. The Intergovernmental Working Group of Exports on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) supports progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by fostering corporate transparency, good governance and sustainability standards. Its awards aim to foster the dissemination of initiatives that improve global corporate reporting and integrate environmental, social and governance factors into reporting cycles. ISAR is convened through The United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD).

“Four Twenty serves governments and cities, corporations and financial institutions,” Four Twenty Seven’s Director, Europe, Nathalie Borgeaud said during the awards ceremony. “We inform about the physical climate risks they incur. We inform about floods, cyclones and sea level rise and we inform about extreme heat and droughts, for each of their assets, with forward-looking, science-driven data. In order for all to develop  meaningful resilience strategies, we inform about the future that is knocking on our door. And we all know it is knocking hard.”

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Explore Four Twenty Seven’s award-winning equity risk scores and other climate data analytics that enable investors, corporations and governments to understand climate risk exposure and build resilience.

Webinar: Climate Risk in Real Estate

This webinar on climate risk in real estate presents Four Twenty Seven and GeoPhy’s analysis of exposure to physical climate hazards in global real estate investment trusts (REITs).  The presentations includes key findings from the white paper, Climate Risk, Real Estate, and the Bottom Line and a discussion of how physical climate data is leveraged in financial risk reporting for the real estate sector.

Download the slides, including links to resources discussed during the presentations and additional Q&A slides based on the webinar.

Summary

  1. Context and Introductions: Dr. Nils Kok, Chief Economist at GeoPhy and Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO of Four Twenty Seven
  1. Data and Methodology: Dr. Nils Kok presents GeoPhy’s database of REITs holdings and Nik Steinberg, Director of Analytics at Four Twenty Seven, shares Four Twenty Seven’s scoring methodology for climate risk exposure.
  1. Key Findings: Kendall Starkman, Manager at Four Twenty Seven, presents key findings highlighted in the paper, Climate Risk, Real Estate, and the Bottom Line.
  1. Market Implications & Opportunities for Investors: Emilie Mazzacurati discusses best practices for integrating physical climate risk into financial risk disclosures for real estate investors and Chris Pyke, Research Officer, U.S. Green Building Council, shares results from the GRESB Resilience Module and discusses plans to support reporting on climate risk.

Read more about Four Twenty Seven and GeoPhy’s REITs data product and our other solutions for investors.

PRI Webinar: Measuring and Managing Physical Climate Risk

This PRI webinar, hosted in conjunction with DWS, discusses recent research in identifying physical climate risks and integrating this information into investment decisions. DWS shares its process for leveraging Four Twenty Seven’s equity risk scores to create a climate-optimized index.

Speakers

  • Murray Birt, ESG Thematic Research Strategist at DWS, breaks down physical climate risk and its financial impacts.
  • Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder & CEO of Four Twenty Seven, presents a methodology for assessing and visualizing climate risk in portfolios.
  • Edward Baker, Senior Policy Advisor at PRI, shares new investor data on climate risk reporting under the TCFD recommendations.
  • Gerold Koch, Director of Passive Product Development at DWS, discusses DWS’ strategy for creating a climate-optimized index.
  • Jessica Elengical, Head of ESG Strategy, Alternatives at DWS, speaks about the impacts of physical climate risks on real estate investments.

Newsletter: Japan’s Floods Halt Manufacturing

 

 

Four Twenty Seven’s monthly newsletter highlights recent developments in climate adaptation and resilience. This month, don’t miss our analysis of Japan’s recent flooding, a new report on economic climate risk in Australia, and context around other recent extreme weather events.

In Focus: Time and Tides – Flooding in Japan

Four Twenty Seven Analysis


Japan was the inundated by over 70 inches of rain in early July, resulting in significant loss of life and business disruptions. The clouds have since receded, leaving economic damage with long-term implications yet to be understood. However, estimates expect industry losses to be in the billions USD. Destruction was centered in Okayama and Hiroshima, driven by flooding and landslides. Japan’s floods were followed by a deadly heat wave, threatening those left without power after the storm and hindering recovery efforts.

Our latest analysis identifies companies affected by the event based on the location of vulnerable corporate facilities. We find several automobile manufacturers and electronic companies closed facilities during the flooding due to supply chain and labor disruptions. Understanding the ownership and operations of facilities in the damaged areas provides insight into what companies and industries may exhibit downturns in performance over the near term and be vulnerable to similar storms in the future.

Read our Analysis

Responding to Economic Climate Risk in Australia

New Four Twenty Seven report explores calls for increased climate risk disclosure in Australia


Our recent report, Responding to Economic Climate Risk in Australia, explores the connection between climate hazards and financial risks in Australia, sharing examples of corporate adaptation and investor engagement to build resilience.

Regulatory pressure and financial damage are necessitating an increase in physical climate risk disclosure in Australia. The nation’s predominant sectors are also the most exposed to drought and heat stress.

In exercising their own due diligence and assessing the exposure to physical climate risks in their portfolios, investors arm themselves with valuable information on corporate risk exposure which they can leverage to engage with companies around resilience.

Read the Report

Climate Change Contributes to Record Heat

Record-breaking heat around the world


Many areas around the world recently experienced their highest daytime temperatures and warmest lows. These records include Burlington, VT which had it’s warmest recorded low temperature of 80 degrees on July 2. Montreal had its highest recorded temperature of 97.9 degrees on July 2 when around 34 people died. Shannon Ireland set its all-time record of 89.6 degrees on June 28 and Quriyat Oman experienced the world’s warmest recorded low of 109 degrees on June 28.

Climate change threatens public health

Extreme heat threatens human health and economic productivity through impacts on the workforce, power grid and vulnerable populations. The Washington Post explains the connection between climate change and heat waves, and the social and economic challenges they bring. Strong and hot domes of high pressure have become more extreme as the climate warms, bringing heat waves. “While warm summer nights may seem less concerning than scorching afternoons” warmer nighttime lows are dangerous because the body has no respite, the New York Times reports.

Further Reading

Inside the Office at Four Twenty Seven

Four Twenty Seven in the Media

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:

  • July 18: Summer in the City CRS Investing Summit, New York, NY: Macroeconomic Risk Senior Analyst, Lindsay Ross, will speak on a panel about assessing physical climate risk in investment portfolios at this annual convening of the responsible investment community.
  • July 19: Webinar: Introduction to the California Heat Assessment Tool, 1:30-2:30pm PT: Director of Analytics, Nik Steinberg, will introduce the California Heat Assessment Tool (CHAT) to California public health officials during the CalBRACE webex meeting.
  • August 28-29: 3rd California Adaptation Forum, Sacramento, CA: Join Yoon Kim, Nik Steinberg, Kendall Starkman, Josh Turner, and Natalie Ambrosio at this biennial convening of adaptation professionals. Yoon will moderate a panel on the legal aspects of adaptation finance, Kendall will facilitate a panel on mobilizing climate adaptation through partnerships and Nik will present the California Heat Assessment Tool.
  • September 11: Building Transformational Community and Economic Resilience: San Francisco, CA: Four Twenty Seven will host a side event alongside the Global Climate Action Summit on Sept 11 to discuss the role of investors, businesses and governments in building climate resilience, both in California and abroad. Invite only.
  • September 12-14: PRI in Person, San Francisco, CA: Visit the Four Twenty Seven booth and meet with our team at this annual gathering of responsible investment industry leaders.
  • September 12-14: Global Climate Action Summit, San Francisco, CA: Join the Four Twenty Seven team at this convening of global climate adaptation experts meant to propel action around the Paris Agreement.

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Time and Tides – Flooding in Japan

July 15, 2018 – 427 ANALYSIS: Record-setting rains in Japan led to floods and landslides that disrupted business operations of automobile manufacturers, electronic companies and others. Understanding the ownership and operations of facilities located in the damaged areas provides insight into what companies and industries may exhibit downturns in performance over the near term and be vulnerable to similar storms in the future.

Japan was the inundated by over 70 inches of rain in early July, an event that resulted in significant loss of life and business disruptions. The clouds have since receded, leaving economic damage with long-term implications yet to be understood. However, estimates expect industry losses to be in the billions USD. Destruction was centered in Okayama and Hiroshima, driven by flooding and landslides.

Typhoons Prapiroon and Maria contributed to this rainfall and climate scientists expect a warmer climate to increase the severity of these storms. Japan has fewer preparations in place for floods than it does for other extreme events, and understanding the various manifestations of risk caused by extreme rainfall is essential to mitigating damage in the future.

Much of Okayama sits immediately below mountains, which makes it particularly exposed to devastating landslides following significant rainfall events. Bursting pipes and power outages led over 250,000 homes in the Okayama and Hiroshima Prefectures to go without water for several days after the floods. Landslides destroyed homes and exacerbated infrastructure damage caused by flooding.

Many business operations were severely impacted by these events as well, and some facilities remain closed.  Companies such as Panasonic experienced physical damage due to flooded facilities, and others were impacted by damaged infrastructure and communities, impacting their supply chains and workforce.

Okayama and Hiroshima are centers of economic activity for a number of key sectors in Japan, hosting production facilities for auto manufacturing, consumer electronics, retail trade and others. The figure below highlights the concentration of facilities of companies in the auto manufacturing industry by the sector of their operations. Companies that rely heavily on manufacturing operations are particularly vulnerable to flooding due in part to their utilization of expensive equipment that can easily incur water damage.

The heavy rainfalls showed no favorites in their disruption of manufacturing facilities across industries. For example, Mitsubishi and Mazda halted operations at some factories during the storms, due in part to supply chain disruptions. Many companies were also forced to pause operations because employees couldn’t get to work. While Mazda’s headquarters in Hiroshima Prefecture and a production facility in Yamaguchi Prefecture weren’t damaged themselves, they remained closed after the storms until employees could return to work safely. Likewise IHI Corp. closed its No. 2 Kure factory in Hiroshima  because of water shortages and employees’ commute challenges.

The extent of   long-term economic impacts that these companies will bear in the aftermath of last week’s storms is not yet known, but merits ongoing examination as the region recovers. Understanding the location of a corporation’s facilities and their exposure to extreme weather events is a key starting point for gauging exposure, and therefore can be instrumental in understanding company’s future performance.

Four Twenty Seven’s extensive facility level database can help investors proactively identify their portfolio companies’ exposures both to chronic climate effects and to individual extreme weather events such as the extreme rainfall that beset Okayama and Hiroshima. This deeper understanding can drive better risk-return tradeoffs, and importantly, shareholder engagement strategies that foster investments in resilience.

Responding to Economic Climate Risk in Australia

June 25, 2018 – 427 REPORT. Regulatory pressure and financial damage are necessitating an increase in physical climate risk disclosure in Australia. In exercising their own due diligence and assessing the exposure to physical climate risks in their portfolios, investors arm themselves with valuable information on corporate risk exposure which they can leverage to engage with companies around resilience. This report explores the connection between climate hazards and financial risks and shares examples of corporate adaptation and investor engagement to build resilience.

The global tide of interest in the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has hit the shores of Australian financial markets, steered by regulators concerned about the systemic risk climate change poses to the economy. In 2017 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s Geoff Summerhayes was the first Australian regulator to formally endorse the TCFD. “Some climate risks are distinctly ‘financial’ in nature. Many of these risks are foreseeable, material and actionable now,” he said. This sentiment was echoed by John Price of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in 2018 and reflects growing regulatory concern over climate risk disclosure internationally, as shown by Article 173 of France’s Law on Energy Transition and Green Growth and the 2018 European Commission Action Plan.

This Four Twenty Seven Report, Responding to Economic Climate Risk in Australia, explores the drivers of financial risk in Australia and discusses approaches to addressing this risk. The nation’s dominant industries are particularly threatened by the prevalent climate hazards. For investors, understanding a company’s risk to climate change is an essential first step to mitigating portfolio risk, but must be followed by corporate engagement to build resilience. Institutional investors are increasingly leveraging shareholder resolutions and direct engagement to prompt companies to disclose their climate risks and adapt.

Key Findings

  • Australia’s “Angry Summer” of extreme weather in 2013 cost the economy $8 billion and was followed by another summer of extremes in 2016-2017.
  • Construction, mining and manufacturing constitute almost 20 percent of Australia’s economy and are highly vulnerable to heat stress and water stress, which threaten large swaths of the nation.
  • Boral Limited and Rio Tinto are both Materials companies exposed to water and heat stress in their operations, but they have different risk scores stemming from differing vulnerabilities in their markets and supply chains.
  • Engagement on climate is relatively new for Australian shareholders, but is gaining momentum, with institutional asset managers voting on several climate risk disclosure resolutions in 2018.
  • Investors can address physical climate risk by reviewing their asset allocations, disclosing their own risks, investing in new opportunities and engaging with corporations.

Download the report.

Webinar: Emerging Metrics for Physical Climate Risks Disclosures

This Four Twenty Seven webinar on emerging metrics and best practices for physical climate risks and opportunities disclosures covers recent developments in TCFD and Article 173 reporting, challenges to assessing climate risk exposure, strategies for investors to incorporate this information into decision-making and approaches to build corporate resilience.

Speakers

  1. Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO, presents key findings from the EBRD-GCECA report: Advancing TCFD guidance on physical climate risks and opportunities and emerging best practices in physical risk reporting.
  2. Nik Steinberg, Director of Analytics, shares challenges and approaches for using climate data for business decisions.
  3. Frank Freitas, Chief Development Officer, discusses corporate engagement opportunities for investors and approaches to integrating climate change into investment strategies.
  4. Yoon Kim, Director of Advisory Services, shares examples of innovation in corporate resilience-building.