Trump, Oil of Less Concern Than Climate Change for Top Companies

(Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest companies are increasingly worried about climate change.

The terms “climate” and “weather” combined were among the most frequently discussed topics among executives of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies, beating “Trump,” “the dollar,” “oil” and “recession” according to analysis of 10 years of earnings call transcripts by S&P Global Ratings.

“The effect of climate risk and severe weather events on corporate earnings is meaningful,” S&P said in the joint report with Hamilton, Bermuda-based Resilience Economics Ltd. “If left unmitigated, the financial impact could increase over time as climate change makes disruptive weather events more frequent and severe.”

Trump, Oil of Less Concern Than Climate Change for Top Companies

The analysis shows that 15 percent of S&P 500 companies publicly disclosed an effect on earnings from weather events, with only 4 percent quantifying the effect. The average impact on earnings was 6 percent in financial year 2017.

More companies are expected to increase reporting on climate issues as management teams become more accountable for understanding the financial impact of weather events, S&P said.

“We may begin to see institutional investors build climate risk factors into their portfolio selection processes, thereby placing greater emphasis on climate when directing investments,” the ratings agency said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.