ACCA welcomes significant step forward in sustainability reporting

New standards on corporate reporting of sustainability information

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ACCA recently welcomed two new standards from the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) which mark a significant step forward in corporate reporting of sustainability-related information. Last week we also launched a suite of short explainer videos, produced in collaboration with the ISSB, to support our members in understanding the fundamentals of the new standards.

The new standards provide a global baseline for comparable information on sustainability issues, which will help investors, financial markets and society more widely. The focus they provide will help drive the positive changes we need in the way businesses operate in the face of the threat from climate change. We’ve been closely involved with the creation of the standards and have worked with the ISSB on improving and refining the original draft standard.

The strong relationship we've built with the ISSB through this process has led directly to our collaboration with them in developing the explainer videos. These will be a vital tool not only for our members, but also for finance professionals more widely, in understanding these new standards which will have a major impact on their work. We know of a number of external organisations looking to leverage them and this will enhance our leadership in sustainability.

Sustainability is intrinsic to ACCA's role within the accountancy profession and goes to the heart of our purpose to be force for public good. We're continuing to promote this agenda through Accounting for a better world, which seeks to drive and highlight the role of accountants in creating a fairer and more sustainable world. These new standards show the vital role we can play by sharing our expertise and insight to influence policy and the wider business environment.

Speaking on the launch of the new standards, Helen Brand said: ‘ACCA will continue to support the ISSB’s important work. The influence of the accountancy profession – with its members working inside and advising businesses across the world – means it has a hugely important role to play in creating a better, more sustainable world that works for everyone. Consistent global standards are a key part of that picture and we look forward to playing our role in driving their success.’

Sharon Machado, head of sustainable business, ACCA, added: ‘These standards will make sustainability reporting more consistent, connected and meaningful. Importantly, they mark the early stages of the work accountancy professionals are achieving in driving systematic changes in sustainability reporting and its integration with financial reporting. They will drive wider changes too as sustainability reporting is likely to drive sustainability-led strategies, and there will be operational changes required to implement them and their reporting.’

Our work with ISSB on these standards is one of several interventions that have resulted from our involvement as a founder member of the IFRS Partnership Framework for capacity building.

Further resources

ACCA's series on how SMEs can create a more sustainable world

ACCA's practical tools to support SMPs' sustainability journey

ACCA's guides for sustainable businesses

ACCA's sustainability hub