XBRL taxonomy for sustainability reporting to be developed

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27 Jun 2011

Deloitte and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have announced a collaboration to work on a new eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) taxonomy for sustainability reporting.

The new XBRL taxonomy will enable organisations to deliver sustainability information in XBRL format, with the objective of enabling stakeholders to organise and access sustainability information in a much quicker and easier way. As with XBRL for financial reporting, the use of 'tagged' data will hopefully improve the quality and integrity of sustainability performance data, allowing investors, auditors and other report users to access and compare sustainability information without the need for excessive manual work.

In related news, the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and ISACA (the organisation responsible for developing international information systems auditing and control standards) have recently published Leveraging XBRL for Value in Organizations. This publication provides guidance on how to leverage the value of XBRL through effective implementation. It includes discussion of non-financial reporting, noting the inherent ability of XBRL to communicate a wide array of types of data, which supports a range of key performance indicators (KPIs) for performance and sustainability reporting (including reporting under the GRI guidelines).

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