AA1000 Series Assurance Standard consultation document

Source: AccountAbility, 6 June 2002

"Reporting without verification is like blood without haemoglobin" [John Elkington, Chair, Sustainability Ltd, previously member of AccountAbility’s Council]

Social, environmental and Sustainability reporting has grown dramatically in recent years, led by large corporations, particularly those with high public profiles and brands. The practice is also rapidly extending to other parts of international business community, and to public and private non-profit organisations.

Whits this is welcome, there are emerging concerns about the quality of
disclosure. There are increasing calls from influential stakeholders for more systematic disclosure of social and sustaianbility performance and greater assurance about the reliability of the information.
AccountAbility’s AA1000S Assurance Standard will fill the ‘assurance gap’ by providing a robust, credible framework for the independent quality assurance of social and sustainability reporting.

"Sustainability reports will not have a shred of credibility for NGOs if they are not externally verified using a generally accepted framework.
AA1000S is clearly the front runner for such a framework, and should be the first point of call for companies wishing to engage more productively with
the international NGO community"
[Ed Mayo, Executive Director, New Economics Foundation]

The Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility will release its AA1000S
Assurance Standard: Guiding Principles consultation document on 12th June at
a London event on Assurance, Risk and Reporting (hosted by Cable & Wireless)
and on 25th June at a Brussels event(hosted by Nike and in partnership with
CSR Europe).

There will be an intensive consultation period through to September managed through a high-level Technical committee, and including international meetings and web-based AccountAbility Forums.

"If financial auditors were required to disclose as much about themselves as
will be required of social and sustainability auditors under AA1000S, the Enron-Anderson debacle might never have happened"
[Barry Coates, Director, World Development Movement]