Advisory, broking and solutions company WTW announced the launch of Climate Vista, a new engagement tool aimed at helping boards and senior management to better understand the exposure of their companies to ESG and climate-related risks and opportunities, and to help promote alignment between board members and between boards and management on climate action.

The new tool follows the release last month of a board member survey by WTW and the Nasdaq Center for Board Excellence, in which nearly half of respondents reported a lack of skills and expertise in their organizations for addressing climate issues, despite three quarters agreeing that a coherent ESG strategy helps create organizational value and better financial outcomes.

Hannah Summers, Director, Executive Compensation and Board Advisory (ESG & Climate specialist), at WTW, said:

“Pressure from governments, investors, and civil society will soon impact everything from a company’s credit rating, valuation and cost of capital to its ability to borrow and get insurance. Putting climate governance front and centre on the boardroom table is a critical first step to ensuring business leaders are aware of their responsibilities and equipped to successfully steward their organisations through the transition to net zero, strategically managing the risks and opportunities in a rapidly decarbonising world.”

Key features of the new tool include tailored sessions led by WTW climate experts and board advisers to uncover the current level of understanding by board members of climate issues, perceptions of barriers to action, and the level of climate action ambition. The tool can then be used to address areas of weakness, ground the board in climate risk fundamentals, build momentum to respond to climate risk, and deepen engagement across the business. The tool can be tailored to companies’ geographies and sectors.

Will Bugler, Climate Change Learning and Engagement Lead, Climate and Resilience Hub, WTW, said:

“With a blizzard of regulation and policy coming down the line, the clock is ticking for companies to respond to climate risk. Business leaders have made some progress when it comes to climate and governance risks, but there remains a significant climate skills deficit in the boardroom. Climate Vista is a powerful tool that can help boards understand how climate change presents material financial risks to their business.”