The Corporate Reporting Dialogue, an initiative convened in 2014 to strengthen cooperation, coordination and alignment between key standard setters and framework developers that have significant international influence on the corporate reporting landscape has dissolved, citing the success of its mission given the upcoming consolidation of four of its seven members.
Earlier this month (november), at COP26, the IFRS Foundation announced the formation of an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The IFRS Foundation also announced that it had reached agreement to consolidate with the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), an initiative of CDP, and the Value Reporting Foundation (which resulted from the already merged International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Foundation).
Furthermore, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced in July 2021 its role as co-constructor of new EU sustainability reporting standards currently being developed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG). The European Commission has stated its commitment to international cooperation.
Given GRI’s role as the leading global standard-setter for sustainability reporting focused on the information needs of multiple stakeholders, all parties within the dissolving Corporate Reporting Dialogue will be supporting the ongoing work to drive compatibility between the GRI Standards and the disclosure standards developed by the ISSB focused on meeting investor needs.
In 2014, the Corporate Reporting Dialogue was convened by the IIRC as a response to ‘market calls for better alignment and reduced burden in corporate reporting’.
Since then, its groundbreaking work included: a landscape map demonstrating links between reporting initiatives through the lens of integrated reporting; a statement on common principles of materiality; a position paper supporting the development of better reporting guidelines for the Sustainable Development Goals; and a paper setting out seven principles of transparency and accountability fundamental to all corporate reporting.
These projects culminated in the ‘Better Alignment’ project that laid vital groundwork towards the recent announcements to consolidate and deliver a comprehensive, aligned, system for reporting globally meeting the needs of capital markets and society.
Commenting on the decision to dissolve, and the success of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, its Chair Ian Mackintosh said: “The Corporate Reporting Dialogue has been an overwhelming success. The members of the CRD have prioritized the public interest in delivering robust, comparable sustainability information, integrated with financial reporting, to investors and other key stakeholders above all else. This Dialogue has been an enabler to the decision by the IFRS Foundation to form the ISSB and an enabler of the consolidation of the landscape. The CRD has also prompted jurisdictions globally, most notably the European Union, to drive forward their initiatives to support effective disclosure. I would like to thank all of the CRD members, CDP, CDSB, GRI, International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Value Reporting Foundation, for their commitment to a simplified disclosure landscape.”
The IFRS Foundation and the ISSB will be establishing an advisory group structure that will enable the ongoing coordination among organizations committed to enhanced disclosure that was previously provided by the CRD.
Ian Mackintosh has subsequently been appointed to the IIRC Council, which will advise the IFRS Foundation on establishing connectivity between the work of the IASB and the ISSB via the fundamental concepts and guiding principles of integrated reporting.
Wim Bartels, Programme Lead, Corporate Reporting Dialogue added: “When we first formed the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, we hoped to provide clarity to the market in how these vital, market-driven, initiatives were necessary pieces of the landscape, working together to form a robust corporate reporting system. The result is far beyond these initial goals – with the consolidation of four of the original seven participants of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, corporate reporters globally will receive much needed clarity and direction – I am delighted that the Corporate Reporting Dialogue was an enabler to this and thank the leaders of these organizations for their commitment, collaboration, and determination that made this possible.”