Environmental groups join integrated reporting push

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has teamed up with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) in a bid to accelerate the adoption of integrated reporting (IR).

In their memorandum of understanding (MoU) the three bodies say reporting on the use and depreciation of natural capital, including carbon, energy, water and forest commodities, is integral to IR.

The IIRC's draft framework relies on existing reporting standards, guidelines and approaches, such as the Climate Change Reporting Framework, which was developed through a CDP special project in conjunction with a range of global experts, including accounting professionals.

Paul Druckman, chief executive officer of the IIRC, said working with other frameworks and standards will accelerate the adoption of IR. Around 100 companies worldwide are part of the IIRC pilot programme which is testing the reporting framework.

A survey published this month by ACCA and the think-tank Eurosif (European Sustainable Investment Forum) shows 93% of investors surveyed about non-financial reporting said more needs to be done to make corporate sustainability reporting more consistent and transparent.

The report, What do investors expect from non-financial reporting? found that 84 % of respondents agreed established standardised reporting frameworks need to be used by companies to achieve both those aims. They also wanted non-financial information to be linked to business strategy and risk and better integrated with financial information, as well as being comparable across companies.

Gordon Hewitt, ACCA's sustainability advisor, said: 'The European Commission proposed new requirements from non-financial disclosures back in April. The feeling of the survey's results is that policymakers could improve upon the Commission's proposals by looking at introducing mandatory environmental, social and governance (ESG) KPIs; encouraging the use of and harmonisation of existing reporting frameworks to increase comparability; and improve accountability mechanisms for non-financial information.'

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