Sustainability reporting update

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13 Jun 2014

A brief overview of recent topics related to sustainability reporting, including a new stock exchange joining the Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative, updates on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) developments, and a new discussion paper from the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) dealing with boundary setting for non-financial information.

Highlights of news and developments include:

  • Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative expands. The London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group has joined the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, joining other exchanges such as NYSE Euronext, NASDAQ and the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), together with exchanges in India, Brazil and South Africa. Members participating in the SSE Initiative seek to develop and promote corporate social responsibility and responsible investment among investors, listed companies, regulators and capital market infrastructure institutions. More information is available in the press release (link to the SSE Initiative website).
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) developments:
    • Report on GRI G4 adoption in Australia. The GRI has published G4 in Practice - Australia's Early Adopters, providing an overview of sustainability reporting practices in Australia and outlining the experiences of Australian entities adopting the fourth generation of GRI's sustainability reporting guidelines ('G4'). The report notes a 25% increase in sustainability reporting amongst the top 100 Australian listed companies between 2011 and 2013, with 82% of these companies disclosing sustainability impacts and practices. The report is available via the GRI website.
    • New translation of GRI G4 guidelines. The GRI has announced the availability of a traditional Chinese translation of its G4 guidelines, meaning the guidelines are now available in 12 languages. Click for more information (link to GRI website).
    • New Focal Point. The GRI has established a new Focal Point in Colombia which has an ultimate objective of serving as a regional hub stimulate sustainability reporting in Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. Click for more information (link to GRI website).
  • CDSB consults on boundary setting for non-financial information. The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) has released a further consultation document as part of its initiative to update its 'CDSB Framework', which is designed to assist in the preparation and presentation of specific environmental information for the benefit of investors. The latest Discussion Paper, Proposals for boundary setting in mainstream reports, explores the issue of organisational boundary setting for non-financial reporting purposes, including questions about how to distinguish responsibility from control, outcome from impact of corporate activity, and how to reconcile the approach used for preparation of financial statements with non-financial information. Consultation on the Discussion Paper closes on 27 June 2014. Click for more information (link to CDSB website).

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