Recent sustainability reporting developments

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08 Jan 2018

A summary of recent developments at CDSB, GRI, SASB, CPA Canada, and ClientEarth.

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) has published a discussion paper looking at the application of materiality to climate-related financial disclosures, highlighting the main challenges and potential strategies for materiality determination. The press release on the CDSB website offers a summary of the main topics and access to the full paper.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) notes that sustainability reporting can support companies’ contribution to poverty alleviation. A new paper by GRI explains how the impact of sustainability reporting can be maximised to help reach the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of no poverty by 2030 and outlines recommendations and specific disclosures that companies can apply. Please click to access Corporate Reporting on Poverty on the GRI website.

The United States Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has released its second annual State of Disclosure Report – An analysis of the effectiveness of sustainability disclosure in SEC filings 2017, which highlights both improving trends as well as opportunities for improvement. The report features SASB's analysis of the top 10 companies in each of 79 industries, by revenue, for which the independent standards-setting organisation has developed standards. Please click to access the report on the SASB website.

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), in collaboration with the University of Toronto’s Environmental Finance Advisory Committee (EFAC), hosted an expert panel session to discuss whether blockchain as a decentralised, peer-to-peer ledger technology could transform carbon markets by providing a transparent and reliable way to track carbon emissions and credits. Please click to access a short video and a report from the session on the CPA Canada website.

ClientEarth, a non-profit environmental law organisation, has published a report that highlights the findings of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and outlines how climate risk can impact the preparation of financial accounts and the potential professional indemnity risks to Auditors. While the focus of the legal analysis is on the responsibilities of auditors to consider climate-related risks during UK company audits highlights, many of the standards discussed are IFRS standards, and so may also be relevant elsewhere. Please click to access the analysis on the ClientEarth website.

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