Being a climate conscious business

Can TCFD drive business change and improve performance?

SThree, the only global pure-play specialist staffing business focused on roles in STEM, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to climate action. We’re listed on the Financial Times 300 Climate Leaders in Europe list in 2021 and scored a B through CDP for five consecutive years.

And the UK government’s announcement that the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting requirements would be mandatory didn’t catch us cold. We had already identified the need to utilise the TCFD framework to understand better the impact of climate change on our business.

However, our focus had been on how the actions of the business impact climate change. SThree now wanted to know how climate change would affect our business and particularly the STEM markets in which we operate. That’s where market-leading independent sustainability consultancy, Avieco comes in.

Avieco works closely with organisations across the economy. They bring sustainability expertise to support companies in their operational, commercial and strategic ambitions.

Before both parties collaborated, it was key we identified climate risks and opportunities that would directly impact our markets. SThree and Avieco then worked together to develop climate scenarios using underlying data from the Networking for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).

This work allowed us to look at how the identified risks and opportunities would appear in a way that resonated within individual regions. It highlighted the effects of climate change and the potential consequences within our specific markets.

And more importantly, the developed scenarios then informed strategic decisions around how we would respond to those risks and opportunities at any point in the future. These have been vital in ensuring we can prepare and respond to the potential effects of climate change on our markets – instead of waiting for it to impact our business.

The result? SThree is now enabled to be reactive as well proactive in its strategic response to climate change.

Gemma Branney, Head of ESG at SThree, said: “I hadn’t fully appreciated the outcomes and impact implementing TCFD would have on our business when we first partnered with Avieco. Having an independent, third party delivering the project facilitated honest conversation and strong external insights. It also provided us with the space to truly observe and analyse the changes needed. It was also a good learning opportunity for me as I had limited experience of climate-related scenario analysis.”

The results of our work with Avieco are clear to see. Our risk management framework now details climate change as a risk. And there are detailed risks and mitigations in place which inform strategy for the Group.

On top of this, we have set ourselves the target of doubling the size of its renewable energy business. We are also expanding Scope 3 emissions reporting to understand the organisation’s climate impact better.

Implementing TCFD has led to SThree establishing an internal global renewable energy network. The network shares best practices and improves services to better serve our renewables partners.

It also identified the green skills gap, which has informed our community programming. This includes delivering greens skills development and awareness initiatives to expand the green talent pipeline our clients and future clients will need to achieve net-zero.

Not only that, but it improved SThree’s understanding of how our clients might be impacted as a result of changing policies and investments. For example, how high emitting sectors are likely to need skills related to their transition rather than the recruitment trends we have previously experienced.

Our case study also features in the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability's (ICRS) COP26 Learning Zone. There you'll discover more information about TCFD, resources for COP26 and ways we can tackle climate change.