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Standard setters unite on shared vision for the future of comprehensive corporate reporting

Five global organisations who set frameworks and standards for sustainability and integrated reporting have published a report announcing a shared vision of what is needed for progress towards comprehensive corporate reporting and their intent on working together to achieve it.

CDP, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), the Global reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), have co-published a vision of the elements necessary for more comprehensive corporate reporting and a joint statement of intent to drive towards this goal. The organisations aim to work together and have committed to engaging with key actors, including the IFRS, the European Commission, and the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council.

GRI, SASB, CDP and CDSB set the frameworks and standards for sustainability disclosure, including climate-related reporting, along with the TCFD recommendations. The IIRC provides the integrated reporting framework that connects sustainability disclosure to reporting on financial and other capitals. Taken together, these organisations guide the majority of sustainability and integrated reporting.

IIRC CEO Charles Tilley said: “This year we have witnessed businesses around the world having to pivot their business models overnight, to prioritise the health and safety of their employees and customers above the immediate financial success of the business. The connectivity between sustainability-related factors and immediate financial-viability is clearer than ever before. It is why we are committed to working with our partners to drive a holistic system for reporting across the value chain. We know that businesses globally are already using a mixture of our frameworks and standards to provide stakeholders with robust, effective information to drive better decision-making and capital allocation via their integrated report. This document provides further clarity on how to do this effectively.”

GRI chair Eric Hespenheide said: "As GRI, we believe strongly in a vision of a single, coherent global set of reporting standards. That is why we are pursuing collaboration with these other organisations. We have called on all of them to join in the development of a pragmatic approach to joint standard setting along with fundraising to support such an effort. This would underpin the unique contribution and specific focus of each partner organisation.

“Such an approach reduces the burden for the reporting organisations as well as ensure that all stakeholders can base their decisions on consistent and comparable information. GRI remains keen to continuing to work together with all interested organisations in achieving greater transparency through disclosure in the weeks and months to come."

SASB CEO Janine Guillot said: “SASB’s unique role in this system is to surface the subset of environmental, social, and governance issues reasonably likely to materially impact financial performance of the typical company in each of 77 industries. SASB Standards are designed to improve the quality and comparability of a core subset of financially material sustainability information, serving as an important complement to information that is already reflected in the financial accounts according to Financial GAAP.”

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