Preparing for climate change

An analysis of the readiness of Switzerland’s top 100 companies for a changing climate.

13 December 2023

Climate change is no longer a distant concern; it is already here, with global warming of 1.4° C above pre-industrial levels and an increase in average annual temperatures of 2.5° C in Switzerland. For businesses, it is increasingly vital not just to mitigate or adapt but to be able to thrive in a changing climate.

Improving understanding of the business risks and opportunities associated with climate change is a key goal of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). With the Ordinance on Climate Disclosures, the Swiss Federal Council has made the TCFD recommendations mandatory also for public interest companies in Switzerland. Because the regulation comes into force on 1 January 2024, many Swiss companies have been preparing for compliance in 2023.

Key findings

Together with engageability, we analysed the publicly available sustainability and CDP reports of the 100 largest Swiss companies that fall within the scope of the upcoming Swiss regulation on climate disclosure. We used 32 criteria, mainly based on the recommendations of the TCFD, to assess climate change readiness. Our main findings were:

  • Overall, we see a wide range of climate change readiness among Switzerland’s top 100 companies.
  • While almost two-thirds identify risks and opportunities, we found that these risks and opportunities are often not informed by climate scenarios.
  • The vast majority of companies appear to be largely unaware of how resilient their business is to the coming changes needed to limit global warming to 1.5° C.
  • The few transition plans presented often lack clear, timebound and realistic action plans and strategies to achieve the targets.
  • The impact of climate change on business success seems to be rarely considered.
  • In our view, preparation for climate change has three key elements:
    • Shifting the perspective from looking at emissions to also focusing on adapting to climate change.
    • Assessing the resilience of the company under different climate scenarios is essential to future-proof the business.
    • Developing a thorough transition plan integrated into the corporate strategy is essential to become fit for a sustainable future.

Get your copy of the report

Our assessment can help companies understand where they currently stand compared to their peers and highlights persistent shortcomings that many companies have in common. Further, sector- and topic-specific insights, including best practices, can help companies prepare for the upcoming regulation and position themselves strategically in a warming world.

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