The current drive towards better environmental accountability by the world’s businesses – through measurement and reporting – comes at a time when the future of corporate reporting is the subject of intense debate, in particular its complexity and increasing disclosure requirements.
ACCA believes that the accounting profession has an important role to play in encouraging sustainability and convened a panel of academics and other interested parties to discuss this issue and identify possible solutions. Chaired by Craig Vickery, head of ACCA Scotland, the key issues can be summarised as follows:
- is the annual report still considered to be a valuable document?
- do users, particularly analysts, take sustainability and environmental reports seriously?
- the difficulty of measuring sustainability and environmental impact
- is regulation the answer to encouraging sustainability reporting?
- what can companies gain from better reporting of their approach to sustainability?
- what is the future of sustainability and environmental reporting?
When asked at the end what they would like to see in ten years’ time, the unanimous response of the panel was ‘that good sustainability reporting, that is taken seriously by analysts and users, is the norm’.
The key issues are covered in more depth in this summary document