Groundbreaking project launched to align corporate reporting standards

A group of international standard-setters have announced a new two-year project to better align corporate reporting and improve sustainable business practices.

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Launched at the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit in London yesterday, the project will see participants work together to deliver its ultimate aim of integrating financial and non-financial reporting.

They will map their respective sustainability standards and frameworks to identify commonalities and differences, and jointly refine and improve them while taking into account different focuses, audiences and governance procedures.

The Global Reporting Initiative, the International Accounting Standards Board, the International Organization for Standardization, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and CDP are all signed up.

Bloomberg’s global head of sustainable business and finance, Curtis Ravenel, said: “As efforts to improve disclosure have emerged, so has a range of varying guidance, frameworks and standards in the field.

“We are committed to helping organisations communicate clearly, succinctly and effectively with the market – this project will lead to better alignment in the corporate reporting landscape.”

The initiative is just the latest phase of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, which was launched four years ago as the principal working mechanism to achieve dialogue and alignment between global standards.

Participants have regular meetings to align their views and promote further co-operation, and have already adopted a statement of common principles of materiality.

They have also developed a common map of the reporting landscape and agreed a joint position supporting recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

It is hoped that the latest project will bring about visible improvement in the coherence, consistency and comparability of corporate reporting.

Ian Mackintosh, chair of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, said the current system is not working as harmoniously as possible, resulting in “disjointed definitions with unclear aims”.

“There is a renewed urgency to drive better alignment that can combat reporting fatigue, reduce burden and enable more effective corporate reporting,” he added. 

 

Image credit | iStock
Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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