Despite pressing concerns about climate change and growing understanding of the impact of business activities on the planet, sustainability reporting is failing to fulfil its potential. A new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and CDSB (the Climate Disclosure Standards Board) suggests that despite progress made in sustainability reporting and its growing importance, the fragmentation of the discipline is weakening its impact.
ACCA’s and CDSB’s new report, titled ‘Mapping the sustainability reporting landscape: lost in the right direction’, examines the changing corporate sustainability reporting landscape, outlines its components, addresses current challenges and proposes development opportunities. It provides a considered overview of the trends, levers and drivers influencing the reporting landscape.
Jimmy Greer, senior manager professional insights at ACCA, said, “Sustainability reporting underpins the understanding of a company’s long-term economic value and contribution towards a more sustainable world. From the creation of the Michael Bloomberg chaired Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures to the agreement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, audiences are increasingly keen for corporate sustainability reporting to better inform a growing range of important decisions designed to support a more sustainable future.
“The report suggests that evolving expectations about corporate performance, new measurement criteria and the changing means by which companies are assessed, are calling into question the role of the corporation and the definition of corporate performance. For this reason, getting sustainability reporting right to meet a growing list of challenges has never been more vital.”
Lois Guthrie, CDSB’s founding director said, “The last decade or so has seen the rise of a new order of corporate reporting, which is radically different from the practices of the past. Despite this new momentum, we still lack an agreed way of describing the components of sustainability reporting. Through this report, we hope to prompt discussion among professionals involved in reporting who seek standardisation, rationalisation and order.”