Sustainability reporting


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, employee engagement/matters and diversity, 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) or corporate responsibility (CR) 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.  

IFRS Foundation Trustees' sustainability reporting initiative and ISSB

In the context of their periodic strategy review, the IFRS Foundation Trustees published a consultation paper in September 2020 to determine:

  • whether there is a need for global sustainability standards;
  • whether the IFRS Foundation should play a role in developing such standards; and
  • what the scope of that role could be.

Feedback to the consultation confirmed an urgent need for global sustainability reporting standards and support for the Foundation to play a role in their development.

The Trustees have since the start of 2021 worked towards the potential creation of a new standard-setting board within the existing governance structure of the IFRS Foundation.

On 3 November 2021, the IFRS Foundation announced the creation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). Furthermore, on 31st January 2022, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) was consolidated into the IFRS Foundation to support the work of the newly established ISSB.  It is expected that the Value Reporting Foundation will also consolidate by June 2022.

We have a dedicated page for the Trustees' initiative.

In addition, please see our resource page for the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) that was created as a result of the Trustees' initiative.

Organisations involved in sustainability reporting

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 organizations to report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, GRI produces free Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

We have a dedicated page for the GRI.

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

Corporate Reporting Dialogue

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue is an initiative designed to respond to market calls for greater coherence, consistency and comparability between corporate reporting frameworks, standards and related requirements.  The Dialogue aims to:

  • Communicate about the direction, content and ongoing development of reporting frameworks, standards and related requirements
  • Identify practical ways and means by which respective frameworks, standards and related requirements can be aligned and rationalized
  • Share information, and express a common voice on areas of mutual interest, where possible, to engage key regulators.

Its participants are:

  • CDP
  • Climate Disclosure Standards Board
  • Financial Accounting Standards Board
  • Global Reporting Initiative
  • International Accounting Standards Board
  • International Integrated Reporting Council
  • International Organization for Standardization
  • Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

Further information on the Corporate Reporting Dialogue is available here.

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

The Financial Stability Bard (FSB) TCFD seeks to develop recommendations for voluntary climate-related financial disclosures that are consistent, comparable, reliable, clear, and efficient, and provide decision-useful information to lenders, insurers, and investors.  The Task Force will consider the physical, liability and transition risks associated with climate change and what constitutes effective financial disclosures across industries.  The work and recommendations of the Task Force will help companies understand what financial markets want from disclosure in order to measure and respond to climate change risks, and encourage firms to align their disclosures with investors’ needs.

The TCFD’s 32 members were chosen by the FSB to include both users and preparers of disclosures from across the G20’s constituency covering a broad range of economic sectors and financial markets.

Further information on the TCFD are available on the TCFD website here.

Deloitte sustainability and climate change resources

Deloitte, in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), offers a dedicated climate change website and video learning programme. The joint initiative is designed to help businesses and finance professionals learn more about tackling climate change. Therefore, the website offers video learning resources, setting out the impact that climate change is having on humanity and business equipping businesses to implement change, manage risks and take advantage of the challenges and opportunities created by climate change. A key feature of the programme is learning about considerations for financial statements and how to translate climate change effects into tangible measurements. In addition, the website offers interviews with key drivers of climate action in business and links to additional resources and guidance.

Goal 13 Impact Platform

The Goal 13 Impact Platform is the result of a partnership between Deloitte, the CBI, Chapter Zero, A4S, Dell and the Met Office which aims to stimulate cross-sector collaboration by providing pragmatic and transparent information about the most impactful climate related initiatives in place, highlighting significant gaps in progress, and encouraging more ambitious commitments and action.

The Goal 13 Impact Platform serves as an international, free and open repository of climate commitments, actions, approaches to organisation, learnings and barriers, all based on interviews with organisation leaders. It serves as a valuable tool for finance leaders, executives and boards to understand the environmental and commercial impact of various organisation’s initiatives, any barriers to progress and lessons learned.

Further information is available on the Goal 13 Impact Platform.

EU non-financial reporting Directive

The Strategic report is under the spotlight and is a constant area of FRC challenge. Companies within scope need to comply with the enhanced reporting under the EU non-financial reporting directive which was effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2017.  Further information is available on our Narrative Reporting resource page. 

EU Corporate Sustainability reporting Directive (CSRD)

Following the provisional political agreement on the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), on 22 June 2022, the agreed text for the CSRD has been published.  The objective of the CSRD is to improve sustainability reporting to better exploit the potential of the European single market and to contribute to the transition to a fully sustainable and inclusive economic and financial system in line with the European Green Deal and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  The CSRD brings in more extensive mandatory sustainability reporting for a wide range of companies and requires assurance on this information. 

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 goals set out by the United Nations within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; they call for urgent collective action towards global challenges, such as hunger, unemployment and climate change. The Governments of the 191 UN Member States have committed to achieving the SDGs and businesses can help bridge the gap towards achieving the SDGs by enshrining sustainable development in their purpose and core activities. Businesses are increasingly finding that there is an inextricable link between a commitment to sustainable development and enduring commercial success.

David Cruickshank, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Deloitte Global commented on the SDGs “The UN’s Global Goals represent a historic opportunity to align the governments of the world with business and civil society to make real change by 2030. As a society, we need to make the right connections - combining the policy power of government with the convening power of civil society and resources of business - to better target and tackle obstacles to social progress. Collective action is needed to scale and drive solutions that could improve wellbeing and help society achieve inclusive growth.”

A number of resources are available to find more information and support the use of the SDGs within a business:

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