The ACCA has published a new guide entitled ‘Sustainability reporting – the guide to preparation’. It is published ahead of COP28, the UN climate summit starting on 30 November in the UAE, in which ACCA is participating. Driving forward sustainability reporting – and increasing its global adoption – will be among the topics discussed.

Aimed at professional accountants, senior management and talent developers, this guide sets out key steps to help organisations start to prepare for sustainability reporting. It includes an eight-stage reporting cycle and suggestions with examples. It can be adapted to organisations of various sizes. The guide focuses on preparing for sustainability reporting in accordance with the inaugural ISSB (International Sustainability Standards Board) Standards, however it is equally relevant to organisations applying other sustainability reporting standards.

This first-in-a-series guide is complemented by a series of videos, produced in partnership with the ISSB. Intended to help understand and apply the standards, they focus on the first two standards: IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, which were published in June this year.

Report co-author and ACCA head of sustainable business, Sharon Machado, commented: “Achieving quality in sustainability reporting needn’t be a race; what’s important is having the courage to get started, the ability to apply judgement in the context of your organisation, getting others on board, and findings ways to improve.”

Report co-author and ACCA head of corporate reporting insights – sustainability, Hsiao Mei Chow, said: “There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. We encourage all involved to take time to work through the suggested processes, then design processes appropriate to their organisation and implement them.”

Report co-author and ACCA head of corporate reporting insights – financial, Aaron Saw, added: “Sustainability reporting is likely to cover a range of matters, but the emphasis should be on material information for the intended users. Determining material information about sustainability-related risks and opportunities for reporting requires a three-step approach.”

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ACCA director of policy & insights, Mike Suffield, concluded: “Sustainability reporting requirements extend to explaining the approach and progress made on sustainability-led strategies – for many professional accountants this is a big change. On the other hand, this more holistic reporting requirement supports achieving benefits over the short-, medium-, and longer-term.”