Recent sustainability and integrated reporting developments

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23 May, 2019

A summary of recent developments at SASB/CDSB, UNEP FI, IIRC, ACCA, IRC, WICI, GRI, and SSE.

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) have jointly released the TCFD Implementation Guide intended to help companies to more effectively take the TCFD recommendations from principles to practice, to offer greater insight into the material climate-related financial risks and opportunities they face, equipping investors with reliable, comparable, decision-useful information, and enhancing the resilience and stability of global capital markets to drive sustainable, long-term economic development. Please click to download the guide on the SASB website.

Twenty institutional investors from eleven countries convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) have launched comprehensive investor guidance to help assess how climate change and climate action could impact investor portfolios around the world. These assessments enable investors to be more transparent about their climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the TCFD recommendations. They will also help investors contribute to and benefit from the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies. The press release on the UNEP FI website offers a short overview and access to the guidance.

A majority of executives, nearly 9 out of 10, say that organisations need to do a better job focusing on wider value considerations beyond financial performance, according to a pulse check survey included in a new brief Purpose and Profit published by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The press release on the IIRC website offers a short overview and access to the full brief.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has published Insights into integrated reporting 3.0: The drive for authenticity. The report examines the reporting practices of organisations in the IIRC’s <IR> Business Network. It highlights the progress made towards integrated reporting over the past year, discusses the challenges that preparers face, and gives practical recommendations to guide more organisations on the path to integrated reporting. Please click to access the report on the ACCA website.

The Integrated Reporting Committee (IRC) of South Africa makes a comparative analysis of integrated reporting in ten countries available. The authors selected five companies from each of the following countries: Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom, and the United Statesfor the study. They found that countries could be fairly clearly grouped into three categories of qualities of disclosure: High (Germany, the Netherlands, and South Africa), Medium (France, Italy, South Korea, and the United Kingdom), and Low (Brazil, Japan, and the United States). Please click to access the study on the IRC website.

The World Intellectual Capital/Asset Initiative (WICI) has published Implementation Guidance: Integrated Reporting for SMEs aimed at giving the IIRC's <IR> Framework a specific connotation addressed to small-sized entities as interest in integrated reporting has grown amongst non-listed companies. Please click to access the guide on the WICI website.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) notes the following developments:

  • A draft GRI Waste Standard is out for public comment until 15 July (press release);
  • The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) is launching a project to review the universal GRI Standards - an online survey is open until 9 June to enable stakeholders to provide feedback on the current standards to inform the review of them (press release);
  • New French and Chinese translations of GRI Standards are available;
  • A global search has been launched to find new members for GRI's decision making and advisory functions (press release).

The United Nation's Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative notes that Nasdaq has fulfilled a commitment it made as an SSE Partner Exchange to provide guidance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting to its markets with the launch of its new global ESG reporting guide for public and private companies. Please please click to access the guide through the press release on the SSE website.

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