Recent sustainability and integrated reporting developments

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27 Dec, 2021

A summary of recent developments at VRF, VBA, ACCA, CFA Institute, WICI/VRF, EFRAG/GRI, CDP, IRC, AASB, FASF, IFAC, SASB, exchanges around the world, Accountancy Europe, AccountAbility, and CRD.

The Value Reporting Foundation (VRF) has published the new Integrated Thinking Principles as well as updates to the Asset Management & Custody Activities, Metals & Mining and Coal Operations Industry standards. The publications can be accessed through the press release on the VRF website.

The Value Balancing Alliance (VBA) has released the VBA Disclosure Concept for Material Sustainability Matters that foresees the disclosure of backward-looking as well as forward-looking information with respect to enterprise value and impact on society. Please click to access the publication on the VBA website.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has published Principles for Connected Corporate Reporting Standard Setting noting that corporate reporting standards should highlight the interactions between the value that organisations create for themselves, and the impact that they have on society and planet. Please click to access the publication through the press release on the ACCA website.

The CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announces the release of the first voluntary Global ESG Disclosure Standards for Investment Products designed to enable investors, consultants, advisors, and distributors to better understand, compare, and evaluate ESG investment products. Please click for more information in the press release on the CFA Institute website.

The CFA Institute has also released the results of a survey asking professional analysts and investors about the duty of investment managers to integrate ESG factors into their investment analysis and decision-making, as well as their views on the need for formal, government-backed standards for how public companies report on ESG matters. Please click for more information here.

The World Intellectual Capital/Asset Initiative (WICI) and the VRF have issued a joint position paper, Unlocking and revealing the value of intangibles in delivering Sustainable Development Goals, for the purpose of articulating the importance of intangibles and communication thereon to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The position paper can be accessed on the WICI website.

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have joined forces on the technical work for their respective new biodiversity standards. EFRAG is to make the draft EU standard available to the Commission mid-June, while GRI’s aims to release an updated GRI Biodiversity Standard in the second half of 2022. For more information, please see the press release on the GRI website.

The CDP (previously known as the 'Carbon Disclosure Project') has launched a new climate disclosure framework to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make strategic and impactful climate commitments, track and report progress against those commitments, and demonstrate climate leadership. Please click for more information on the CDP website.

The Integrated Reporting Committee (IRC) of South Africa has published an information paper Aligning Internal and External Integrated Reporting noting that the content areas and six capitals of the integrated report offer a useful structure for holistic internal reporting and driving integrated thinking. Please click for the information paper on the IRC website.

The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) has released a proposed interim climate change reporting standards framework for industry feedback. The voluntary framework adopts the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate- related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Please click for more information on the AASB website.

The AASB has also released a staff paper Globally consistent reporting for sustainability-related information: Australian perspectives. The staff paper can be accessed here on the AASB website.

Japan's Financial Accounting Standards Foundation (FASF) has officially announced the establishment of the Sustainability Standards Board of Japan (SSBJ) and the formation of the SSBJ Preparation Committee. More information is available in this press release.

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has announced that all its Points of View are now available in Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish in addition to English. This includes Enhancing Corporate Reporting and Climate Action. Please click to access the translations through the press release on the IFAC website.

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) announces that German translations of the SASB standards are now available. More information is available through the press release on the SASB website.

The following stock exchanges have released guidance on climate reporting (all links to external websites):

The following organisations have released guidance on assurance on sustainability reporting:

  • IFAC — more information here
  • Accountancy Europe — more information here
  • AccountAbility — more information here

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue (CRD) has dissolved, citing the success of its mission given the upcoming consolidation of four of its seven members.

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