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2016

Recent sustainability reporting developments

Mar 22, 2016

On March 22, 2016, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) released "The Next Era of Corporate Disclosure: Digital, Responsible, Interactive," a digital publication that maps out the future of sustainability reporting and disclosure.

According to GRI, the future will involve new formats with organizations moving from annual reports to sustainability data exchange, while focusing on major challenges such as climate change and human rights. The publication is the culmination of the first year of GRI’s "Sustainability and Reporting 2025" project and provides insights from these discussions.

Review the report on the GRI's website.

Recent sustainability reporting developments

Jan 21, 2016

On January 21, 2016, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), together with the Carbon Tracker Initiative released a paper designed to assist the global Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures members in assessing the ‘carbon bubble’ concept and ‘stranded asset’ risks inherent in the business-as-usual strategies of many fossil fuel companies.

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), together with the Carbon Tracker Initiative, has launched proposals for risk reporting by fossil fuel companies. The report, Considerations for reporting and disclosure in a carbon-constrained world, looks at the questions of

  • What should resource companies report on climate change and carbon asset stranding risks?
  • Who should set the reporting requirements and how should the information be used?
  • What are the challenges ahead?
  • What are the opportunities?

Please click to access the report on the CDSB Website.

Second set of draft GRI Standards available for comment

Jun 03, 2016

On June 3, 2016, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) released exposure drafts of a second set of 30 GRI Standards developed by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB).

“The GRI G4 Guidelines are already the most widely used framework for sustainability reporting in the world. Our transition to Standards is designed to scale up our reach even further,’ said Eric Hespenheide, Chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB). “The improved structure, format and presentation of GRI Standards, as well as the fact that individual Standards can be used alone, will open up reporting to thousands of organizations that have not yet begun disclosing their broader economic, environmental and social impacts. We are also transitioning from periodic to continual updates of GRI Standards, as market and stakeholder demands evolve.”

Organizations preparing a sustainability report ‘in accordance’ with the GRI Standards will select only the relevant topic-specific Standards, based on their material topics. However, the Standards can also be used and referenced independently, to allow reporting on a specific sustainability subject. This will give reporting organizations more flexibility and make sustainability reporting more accessible for new reporters, including small and medium-sized enterprises.

The second set of exposure drafts comprises 30 topic-specific draft standards each covering a separate sustainability topic such as anti-corruption, emissions, biodiversity, or child labor. They are open for comment until 17 July 2016. Please click to access the exposure drafts and a corresponding press release on the GRI's Web site.

The Accountancy Profession: Fighting Fraud and Corruption

Nov 17, 2016

On November 17, 2016, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) released an open letter by Olivia F. Kirtley, IFAC President, to His Holiness Pope Francis, outlining all that the profession has done to support his call to action, as she prepares to hand her office over to President-Elect Rachel Grimes.

Two years ago, following the 2014 World Congress of Accountants in Rome, Pope Francis invited thousands of professional accountants to a private audience at the Vatican and challenged the global profession’s leaders to do more in the global fight against fraud and corruption.

In his remarks, His Holiness said that in uncertain economic times, “There is a stronger temptation to defend one’s interest without concern for the common good, without paying much heed to justice and legality. For this reason everyone, especially those who practice a profession which deals with the proper functioning of a country’s economic life, is asked to play a positive, constructive role in performing their daily work.”

Ms. Kirtley’s letter stated, “I am pleased to report that following our meeting with you, IFAC has focused on intensifying the profession’s activities in several ways that we believe will have lasting impact in reducing both the supply and demand side of fraud and corruption.”

These efforts have been concentrated across three key fronts:

  1. Capacity Building
  2. Governance
  3. Public Sector Financial Management

Review the open letter on the IFAC's website.

The Bruce Column — Moving towards a broader picture of stakeholder reporting

Nov 23, 2016

On November 23, 2016, Robert Bruce reports on a recent debate on the issues surrounding transparent corporate reporting.

In his column, he discusses how Melanie McLaren, Executive Director, Audit at the Financial Reporting Council, was launching an event at the Deloitte Academy to try and help pin down the many issues surrounding corporate reporting in a complicated, volatile, and ever-changing business world.

He mentions that McLaren is expecting a deep debate as a result of recent questions raised by politicians over the level of trust in business; the possibility of extending business representation to ordinary employees; a range of reporting, environmental and sustainability issues; and those of gender and pay. For her the reporting was what was important. ‘What gets reported drives behaviour’, she said.

Review the full article our UK Accounting Plus website.

The Bruce Column — Paul Druckman looks back over five years of achievement

Nov 18, 2016

On November 18, 2016, a video interview with Robert Bruce was released where he discusses how five years can bring about an immense amount of change. Paul Druckman has just stepped down as chief executive of the International Integrated Reporting Council.

In a video interview with Robert Bruce, Mr. Druckman reflects on what has been achieved in that time under his leadership.

Probably his most important achievement over those years is how the concept of integrated thinking is now moving towards being a mainstream benefit of an integrated reporting system. Under Druckman’s vigorous encouragement the reporting system which companies operate has evolved into something which is not just a means of communicating what a company has done and how it has done it, but a lead motivator for change within companies. He sees it as part of what he calls "a new information architecture" which will sit well alongside and within changing attitudes in the corporate governance world. Once everything was geared around the financials, he says. Now we are seeing a broader form of value creation with integrated reporting, a multi-capital system, which will drive a more inclusive and responsible capitalism. It is no longer simply about trust and KPIs, or about delivering a broader based prosperity. It’s about all three. And, he underlines, the momentum is probably unstoppable.

Transparency into the Audit – Enhanced Auditor Reporting and Audit Committee Reporting

Mar 31, 2016

On March 31, 2016, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) released a publication ​where it discusses the two initiatives increasing transparency into the audit process - Enhanced Auditor Reporting and Audit Committee Reporting.

Traditionally the financial audit process has been opaque, operating in a black box environment with only a pass or fail judgement rendered by the auditor on an annual basis.

However, there has been a growing realization that increasing transparency into the audit process could benefit audit committees, investors and other stakeholders.

A number of initiatives are underway internationally to increase transparency into the audit process. The publication outlines two initiatives: enhanced auditor reporting and enhanced audit committee reporting.

Review the publication on the CPAB's Web site.

Transparency into the Audit – Audit Quality Indicators and Transparency Reporting

Mar 31, 2016

On March 31, 2016, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) released a publication where it discusses the two initiatives increasing transparency into the audit process - Audit Quality Indicators and Transparency Reporting.

Traditionally the financial audit process has been opaque, operating in a black box environment with only a pass or fail judgement rendered by the auditor on an annual basis.

However, there has been a growing realization that increasing transparency into the audit process would be of benefit to audit committees, investors and other stakeholders.

A number of initiatives are underway internationally in order to increase transparency into the audit process. This publication outlines two initiatives: audit quality indicators (AQls) and transparency reporting.

Review the publication on the CPAB's Web site.

Using technology to drive multi-capital thinking

Oct 31, 2016

In October, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Technology Initiative released a guide for CFOs on using technology to drive multi-capital thinking, entitled "Technology for Integrated Reporting."

The guide offers practical insights to help CFOs collaborate with their Chief Information Officer (CIO) to ensure that technology can enable progressive business management and reporting practice.
Review publication on the IIRC's website.

Winners of the 2016 Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting

Dec 13, 2016

2016 marks the 65th anniversary of the Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting.

Here are the winners:

Awards of Excellence in Financial Reporting: Crown corporations

  • Federal (Large) — Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Federal (Small) — Telefilm Canada
  • Provincial — SaskPower

Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting: Industry winners

  • Overall Award of Excellence in Corporate Reporting — TELUS
  • Communications and Media — TELUS
  • Consumer Products and Services — Canadian Tire Corporation
  • Financial Services — BMO Financial Group
  • Industrial Products and Services — WSP Global Inc.
  • Mining — Goldcorp
  • Oil and Gas/Forestry Products — Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Real Estate — Boardwalk REIT
  • Utilities/Pipelines — Enbridge Inc.

Awards of Excellence in Corporate Reporting: Category winners

  • Award of Excellence in Financial Reporting — Potash Corp
  • Honourable Mention in Financial Reporting — Intact Financial Corporation
  • Award of Excellence in Sustainability Reporting — Goldcorp
  • Honourable Mention in Sustainability Reporting — Suncor Energy Inc
  • Award of Excellence in Electronic Disclosure — Intact Financial Corporation
  • Honourable Mention in Electronic Disclosure — WSP Global Inc.
  • Award of Excellence in Corporate Governance Disclosure — TELUS
  • Honourable Mention in Corporate Governance Disclosure — Enbridge Inc.

Review the 2016 Judges’ Book on the CPA Canada's website.

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