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Sustainability reporting and integrated reporting

Leaf - sustainability


Company boards, executives, and management are investing more and more time and resources on issues of sustainability - such as carbon (greenhouse gas emissions), energy efficient technology, water use, cleantech, and biodiversity, to name just a few. An important part of the global push towards sustainability practices involves a need to account for, and report on, sustainability - sometimes referred to as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting.

On this page, we maintain a history of developments in sustainability reporting requirements and practices, tracking its gradual adoption on both a voluntary and mandatory basis, and also consider the wider integrated reporting initiative being led by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).

Organisations involved in sustainability and integrated reporting

International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) (previously the International Integrated Reporting Committee) was formed in August 2010 and aims to create a globally accepted framework for a process that results in communications by an organisation about value creation over time. The IIRC published the first version of its 'International Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework' (<IR> Framework) in December 2013.

We have a dedicated page for the IIRC.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organisations to become more sustainable and contribute to a sustainable global economy. It is an international not-for-profit organisation, with a network-based structure.

GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice. To enable all companies and organisations to report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, GRI produces free Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

We have a dedicated page for the GRI.

Carbon Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB)

The Carbon Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) seeks to promote and advance climate change-related disclosure in mainstream reports through the development of a global framework for corporate reporting on climate change.

We have a dedicated page for the CDSB.

United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a global partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the financial sector. Over 190 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance. Through its Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), UNEP FI identifies the roles of the finance sector in addressing climate change, and advances the integration of climate change factors - both risks and opportunities - into financial decision-making. This is done through a work programme encompassing research, training, events and regional activities.

The UNEP FI website can be accessed at

Deloitte sustainability and climate change resources

Deloitte maintains a global website dealing with sustainability and climate change resources, including specific resources on sustainability reporting, assurance and compliance. Industry perspectives and member firm resources are also available. Click for Deloitte global sustainability and climate change resources.

Related news

  • European Parliament adopts Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information

  • Apr 16, 2014

  • The European Parliament has voted in favour of amendments to European accounting legislation in order to require certain large companies to provide additional information on social and environmental matters. These companies will have to disclose information on policies, risks and results as regards environmental matters, social and employee-related aspects, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues, and diversity on the boards of directors.

  • SASB issues provisional standards for the technology and communications sector

  • Apr 04, 2014

  • The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has issued provisional standards for industries in the technology and communications sector. The standards are the third set in a planned series of industry-related standards by the SASB on accounting for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues that could be material to a corporation’s performance.

  • IIRC and GISR agree to cooperate on corporate reporting and ratings frameworks

  • Apr 01, 2014

  • The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) have publicly announced they have entered into a 'Memorandum of Understanding' (MoU) that seeks to drive greater coordination of reporting and ratings standards and frameworks globally.

  • World stock exchanges form sustainability working group

  • Mar 31, 2014

  • The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) has formed a 'Sustainability Working Group' which aims to build consensus on the purpose, practicality, and materiality of environmental, social and governance (ESG) information.

  • ASX updates corporate governance guidelines to expand sustainability reporting

  • Mar 28, 2014

  • The Corporate Governance Council of the ASX Group, one of the stock exchanges of Australia, has released an updated edition of its 'Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations', which outline the principles and recommendations about corporate governance practices that a ASX listed entity must meet on a "comply or explain" basis. The revised guidelines include enhanced recommendations for disclosure of material exposures to economic, environmental and social sustainability risks, including how those risks are managed.

  • Proposals released for standardised stock exchange requirements on sustainability reporting

  • Mar 27, 2014

  • Ceres, an investor-founded coalition of investors, companies, policy makers and others, has released recommendations through its Investor Initiative for Sustainable Exchanges for a global standard in stock exchange listing requirements on sustainability reporting. The proposals include three key requirements that should be captured, as a minimum, in listing rules for environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure.

  • ACCA report calls for governance to focus on sustainability and new measures of performance

  • Mar 25, 2014

  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has released a consultation paper on corporate governance that seeks to explore the nature of existing corporate governance and risk management frameworks, and whether they are 'fit for purpose'. The paper recommends that the sustainable value creation should be the overarching purpose of governance, and that companies and investors should develop and report using more suitable measures of performance and value creation.

  • South Africa endorses International <IR> Framework

  • Mar 19, 2014

  • The Integrated Reporting Committee (IRC) of South Africa has endorsed the International Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework, issued by International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), as guidance on good practice on how to prepare an integrated report.

  • Canadian 'Starter's Guide to Sustainability Reporting'

  • Mar 04, 2014

  • Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) has published a guide designed to be a starting point for new or early-stage sustainability reporters. The focus of the guide is to provide a roadmap on how to get started on sustainability reporting, the reporting choices available, the process and resources involved, as well as the relevant tools and guidance available.

  • SASB issues provisional standards for financial sector

  • Feb 26, 2014

  • The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has issued provisional standards for industries in the financial sector. The standards are the second set in a planned series of industry-related standards by the SASB on accounting for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues that could be material to a corporation’s performance.

  • CDSB seeks views on updated environmental reporting framework

  • Feb 20, 2014

  • The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) has published a consultation draft of the second edition of its 'CDSB Framework', which is designed to assist in the preparation and presentation of specific environmental information for the benefit of investors. Compared to the existing framework, the consultation draft proposes to extend the scope of environmental reporting beyond climate change to include natural capital information about water and forest commodities.

  • ACCA survey highlights that companies are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach to integrated reporting

  • Feb 18, 2014

  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has issued a report, ‘Understanding investors: the changing corporate perspective' which is the last in a four-part series examining what investors want from corporate reporting. The report has a particular emphasis on respondent’s views on real-time reporting and moving to an integrated reporting model and also considers the relationships between Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and their auditors.

  • GRI updates

  • Feb 07, 2014

  • The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has released updates relating to its G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

  • Canadian overview of ESG disclosure

  • Feb 04, 2014

  • Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and the Toronto Stock Exchange have published an overview of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure. The document outlines key concepts, discusses why users are interested in ESG information and the impacts of capital providers and insurers on setting the ESG agenda, and provides an overview of the various regulatory and reporting frameworks available for ESG disclosure.

  • ACCA, IAAER and IIRC invite proposals for research into integrated reporting

  • Feb 01, 2014

  • ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), IAAER (International Association for Accounting Education and Research), and the IIRC (International Integrated Reporting Council) invite researchers to submit proposals addressing three areas of Integrated Reporting (<IR>) that need to be developed further.

  • Australian guide to environmental accounting

  • Jan 24, 2014

  • The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has published a guide on environmental accounting. The guide describes the purpose, design and implementation of environmental accounts, which are designed to provide a structured and standardised way to organise environmental information for policy and decision-making needs.

  • IIRC and SASB sign cooperation agreement

  • Jan 17, 2014

  • The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) have announced that they have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which seeks to formalise the principles for ongoing cooperation, coordination and alignment between the two organisations.

  • IMA suggests actions to reap the benefits of integrated reporting

  • Dec 13, 2013

  • In a reaction to the release of the International Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework last Monday, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has outlined several actions to transform corporate reporting to better serve the public interest. IMA opines that the goals behind integrated reporting must be defined and that producing an integrated report should not be a goal in itself.

  • Translations of GRI sustainability reporting guidance

  • Dec 12, 2013

  • The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has announced the availability of four translations of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, dubbed 'G4'. Translation of the G4 Guidelines into various different languages is aimed at making them accessible to a global audience and thus mainstreaming sustainability reporting.

  • IIRC finalises its Framework for integrated reporting

  • Dec 09, 2013

  • The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has released its ‘International Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework’ (<IR> Framework). The <IR> Framework seeks to explain the fundamental concepts, principles and content requirements underlying an 'integrated report', which is considered the next step in the evolution of corporate reporting.

  • Sustainability and integrated reporting update

  • Nov 27, 2013

  • A brief overview of recent topics related to sustainability reporting and integrated reporting, focused on a 'FAQ' on sustainability reporting, International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) developments, and a recent United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) conference.

  • EU Transparency Directive published, disclosure on non-financial information moving along

  • Nov 13, 2013

  • The new European Transparency Directive has been published in the Official Journal and enters into force on the twentieth day following its publication. Additionally, a draft report on the proposal for disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies and groups was presented to the European Parliament committee on legal affairs (JURI).