Rock climbers metaphorically climbing a mountain to symbolise the call for improved UN Sustainable Development Goals disclosures.

ACCA has joined leading accounting bodies and others calling for corporate and asset owner action on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and improved reporting in an attempt to hit goals set for 2030.  The Recommendations are authored by Carol Adams, professor of accounting, with Paul Druckman and Russel Picot, Honorary Professors at Durham University Business School.

The report, entitled Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations, has been published by global accountancy bodies IFAC (the International Federation of Accountants), ACCA, ICAS, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the IIRC (International Integrated Reporting Council) and the World Benchmarking Alliance.

The SDGD Recommendations offer a new approach for private businesses to address sustainable development issues aligned to the three most influential and most used reporting frameworks, in an attempt to establish a best practice for corporate reporting on the SDGs and enable more effective and standardized reporting and transparency on climate change, social and other environmental impacts.

The SDGD Recommendations were developed through consultation with accounting and finance professionals, sustainability experts, academics, consultants, framework and standard setters, asset owners and managers and civil society participants.

Results from the consultation have been published in Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations: Feedback on the consultation. Consultation responses show strong support for alignment of SDGD Recommendations with other key reporting frameworks/standards (those of the Task force on Climate-related Disclosure, the Global Reporting Initiative and the IIRC).  Respondents agreed that accountability for value destruction and negative impacts are critical.

The SDGD Recommendations call on organisations to consider sustainable development risks and opportunities relevant to their strategy to create long term value and communicate their impacts on achievement of the SDGs. Important to achieving this is including relevant and material disclosures that influence long term value creation (or destruction) for the organisation and society or that have an impact (positive of negative) on the achievement of the SDGs in the annual report.  Key to driving change is the requirement for a statement from the Board Chair that the Board accepts responsibility for the SDG Disclosures in the annual report.