Description of how climate change factors have been taken into account in judgements and estimates

Rolls-Royce Holdings plc – Annual report – 31 December 2022

Industry: aerospace

1 Accounting policies (extract)

Climate change

In preparing the Consolidated Financial Statements the Directors have considered the potential impact of climate change, particularly in the context of the disclosures included in the Strategic Report and Climate Review this year and the stated decarbonisation strategy. Based on the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, the Group assesses the potential impact of climate-related risks which cover both transition risks and physical risks. The eight key risks and the opportunities considered in the climate scenarios prepared include extensive policy, legal, technological, and market changes and physical risks which could include direct damage to assets and supply chain disruption. Two of the assessed key transition risks have been identified as potentially having a high impact on the Group. These relate to the risk that regulatory changes could materially impact demand for our products and that addressing climate change will require shifting investment focus towards more sustainable products and solutions. Both of these risks are being actively addressed through the Group’s decarbonisation strategy and the financial implications, as reflected in the quantified climate scenarios, have been considered when preparing the financial statements.

The Group has set its decarbonisation strategy and identified longer-term considerations in response to the climate challenge and is engaging proactively with external stakeholders to advocate for the conditions that society needs to achieve its net zero target. The Group’s main short- and longer-term priorities include:

  • achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 from all energy purchased and consumed in the Group’s offices, manufacturing and production activities (with the exception of product testing and development). This will be met through continued investment in onsite renewable energy installations; the procurement of renewable energy; and continued investment in energy efficiency improvements to reduce the Group’s overall energy demands and operating costs. An estimate of the investment required to meet these scope 1 and 2 emission improvements is included in the forecasts that support these Consolidated Financial Statements;
  • the scale up of sustainable fuels that will play a crucial role in reaching net zero carbon. To accelerate this, the Group are working to demonstrate that all the commercial aero engines produced, and the most popular reciprocating engines, representing 80% of the product portfolio, are compatible with sustainable fuels by the end of 2023 and working with our armed forces customers to achieve the same goals for the Rolls-Royce engines they use; and
  • developing breakthrough new technologies, including investment in hybrid-electric solutions in Power Systems, continued development of the more efficient UltraFan aero engine, testing of sustainable aviation fuels, small modular reactors (SMRs) and hybrid and fully electric propulsion. New products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030 and all products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2050. In the year, R&D costs of £(108)m (2021: £(68)m) within New Markets included design development to ready the SMRs to progress through the UK generic design assessment (GDA) process and investment in electrical propulsion technology. Future investment required to deliver these technologies is included in the forecasts that support the Consolidated Financial Statements.

The climate change scenarios previously prepared to assess the viability of our business strategy, decarbonisation plans and approach to managing climate-related risk have continued to develop over the last year as set out in our Climate Review. There remains inherent uncertainty over the assumptions used within these and how they will impact the Group’s business operations, cash flows and profit projections. The Directors assess the assumptions on a regular basis to ensure that they are consistent with the risk management activities and the commitments made to investors and other stakeholders.

Assumptions used within the Consolidated Financial Statements in relation to areas such as revenue recognition for long-term contracts, impairment reviews of non-current assets and the carrying amount of deferred tax assets consider the findings from the climate scenarios prepared. Key variables include carbon pricing based on the International Energy Agency (IEA) Net Zero scenario, which assumes an increase from $46 per tonne of carbon in 2022 to $250 per tonne in 2050, and commodity price, temperature rise and GDP information from the Oxford Economics Global Climate Service Net Zero scenario aligned to IPCC SSP1-19.

As details of what incremental specific future intervention measures will be taken by governments are not yet available, carbon pricing has been used to quantify the potential impact of future policy changes on the Group. To ensure revenue recognition or the carrying value of assets is not overstated it has been assumed that carbon pricing falls on our own manufacturing facilities and those of our supply chain. The Group will be able to mitigate an element of the financial impact as it reduces the scope 1 and 2 emissions from its offices, manufacturing and production activities, the costs of which have been incorporated into forecasts. The Group has made estimates in relation to decarbonisation in its external supply chain and the impact this may have on the Group’s costs, whilst acknowledging in its financial modelling that this is complex and will therefore take some time. The financial modelling performed recognises the extent to which the Group’s current supplier contracts offer protection from cost increases in the short to medium term where pricing is fixed or subject to capped escalation clauses. The Group has made a cautious assessment of whether higher costs would be passed on to customers in the short and medium term that considers the markets operated in and the pricing mechanisms in place. For example, in Civil Aerospace it is recognised that escalation caps within a number of its long-term service agreements (LTSA) contracts would be triggered, meaning additional costs could remain within the business under current commercial arrangements until the end of existing contract periods.

When determining the amount of cumulative revenue recognised on long-term contracts, and the obligation in relation to onerous contracts, the assumptions above have been used to reflect the climate uncertainties. Changes in estimates have not had a significant impact on revenue catch-ups in the year (2021: £(17)m) or on contract loss provisions (2021: £(20)m). Increases in carbon and commodity price estimates over the term of the current contracts are estimated to be around 1% (2021: 1%). A sensitivity is presented within the key sources of estimation uncertainty (page 116) to disclose the impact of a further 1% cost increase that might arise from further unmitigated increases in carbon and/or commodity pricing.

Impairment testing of non-current assets including goodwill and programme assets has considered the above risks as well as assessing how the Group’s 1.5oC and 3.6oC scenarios may change the demand for products over the medium and longer term. Given the headroom, the climate scenarios modelled do not indicate any potential impairment. Further information is provided in note 9.

Deferred tax assets are recognised to the extent it is probable that future taxable profits will be available, against which the unused tax losses and deductible temporary difference can be utilised. The weighted downside forecast includes the climate-related estimates and assumptions. Whilst carbon pricing illustrates pressure on costs, decarbonisation and new supplier and customer contracts offer the opportunity to receive value for more efficient and sustainable products. Further details are included in note 5 together with sensitivity analysis in the key sources of estimation uncertainty section below.

The climate-related estimates and assumptions that have been considered to be key areas of judgement or sources of estimation uncertainty for the year ended 31 December 2022 are those relating to the recoverable amount of non-current assets including goodwill, capitalised development costs, recovery of deferred tax assets, recognition and measurement of provisions and recognition of revenue on long-term contracts. These items are included within the key areas of judgement and key sources of estimation uncertainty summarised on page 113 and explained in detail throughout the significant accounting policies.

Items that may be impacted by climate-related risks, but which are not considered to be key areas of judgements or sources of estimation uncertainty in the current financial year are outlined on page 112.

(Page 112)

Useful lives of assets – The useful lives of property, plant and equipment and right-of-use assets could be reduced by climate-related matters, for example, as a result of physical risks, obsolescence or legal restrictions. The change in useful lives would have a direct impact on the amount of depreciation or amortisation recognised each year from the date of reassessment. The Directors’ review of useful lives has taken into consideration the impacts of the Group’s decarbonisation strategy and has not had a material impact on the results for the year. The Directors have also considered the remaining useful economics lives of material intangible assets, including the £1,826m and £250m capitalised development spend associated with the Trent and business aviation programmes disclosed in note 9. Given the measures the Group is taking, including the testing of engines for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) compatibility and that all the commercial aero-engines and the most popular reciprocating engines that are currently produced will be compatible with sustainable fuels by the end of 2023, the Directors judge that no adjustment is required to the useful economic lives.

Inventory valuation – Climate-related matters may affect the value of inventories as a result of a decline in selling prices or could become obsolete due to a reduction in demand. After consideration of the typical stock-turns of the inventory in relation to the rate of change in the market the Directors consider that inventory is appropriately valued.

Recoverability of trade receivables and contract assets – The impact of climate-related matters could have an impact on the Group’s customers in the future, especially those customers in the Civil Aerospace business. No material climate-related issues have arisen during the year that have impacted the assessment of the recoverability of receivables. The Group’s expected credit loss (ECL) provision uses credit ratings which inherently will include the market’s assessment of the climate change impact on credit risk of the counter parties. Given the maturity time of trade receivables and the majority of contract assets, climate change is unlikely to cause a material increase on counter party credit risk in that time.

Share-based payments – Remuneration packages will be impacted and measured against a new sustainability metric from the 2023 financial year. This could impact the future amount and timing of the recognition of the share-based payment expense in the income statement once these metrics are included within the performance condition criteria of the share-based payment plans. This change has had no impact on the 2022 Consolidated Financial Statements and is unlikely to have a material impact on the charge recognised in the next 12 months.

Defined benefit pension plans – Climate-related risks could affect the financial position of defined benefit pension plans. As a result, this could have implications on the expected return on plan assets and measurement of defined benefit liabilities in future years. The Trustee of the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund meet the climate-related regulatory requirements. When making decisions about the plan, its analysis is carried out in a way consistent with Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The Trustee has set a net zero target for the plan assets by 2050. Having assessed the risks and opportunities of climate change and considered the nature of the assets of the fund, climate change is unlikely to have a material impact on the position in the Consolidated Financial Statements.

(Page 113)

Key areas of judgement and sources of estimation uncertainty

The determination of the Group’s accounting policies requires judgement. The subsequent application of these policies requires estimates, and the actual outcome may differ from that calculated. The key judgements and key sources of estimation uncertainty at the balance sheet date, that have a significant risk of causing material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next financial year, are summarised below. Further details, together with sensitivities for key sources of estimation uncertainty where appropriate and practicable, are included within the significant accounting policies section of this note.