Bloomberg Guides Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

Guest blog by Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg L.P.

Since our founding in 1981, Bloomberg has been guided by the principle that making markets more transparent empowers investors, fuels entrepreneurs, and supports economic growth. As new developments in markets arise, we are committed to making sure that our clients have the tools they need to understand them—and act on them. Sustainability, especially as it relates to climate change, is a great example.

In recent years, we have taken a number of steps to enhance the data on sustainability that our products provide. We’ve added Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data to the Bloomberg Terminal, purchased Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and helped advance the emerging Green Bond Market. But our products can only be as good as the information they channel. And for the most part, the sustainability information that is disclosed by corporations today is not useful for investors or other decision-makers.

To help address this issue, I became chair of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) in 2014, and last year, I agreed to build on that work by chairing the new Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The Task Force, which was announced at the UN Climate Conference in Paris, is developing a common set of voluntary guidelines to bring transparency to both the risks and opportunities that climate change presents to financial markets, investors, and businesses. The market cannot accurately value companies, and investors cannot efficiently allocate capital, without comparable, reliable and useful data on increasingly relevant climate-related issues.

The Task Force and SASB will help firms understand what data financial markets seek, and it will encourage firms to make disclosures in standardized formats, to improve the data’s utility to investors and others. By doing so we will not only help investors manage risks, we will spur global investments in technological innovation and clean energy. Making markets more transparent will benefit both the environment and the economy.

Sustainability is important at Bloomberg not only because of its economic implications, and not only because it is a growing product line that our customers need and demand. It’s also important because we are committed to protecting public health and advancing environmental stewardship around the world—especially in all 192 cities we work in. In addition, our commitment to sustainability helps us attract and retain the most talented workforce.

Market forces, combined with technological innovation, are the two most powerful drivers of change in the world. If through our products and initiatives we can help our customers make smart choices, we can drive economic growth that protects our planet and improves lives around the world.

*If you are interested in a demonstration of our ESG functionality on the Bloomberg Terminal click here.

Photo: Rubenstein, Creative Commons

This post originally appeared in the 2015 Bloomberg Impact Report.