The demand for sustainability reporting is growing, further amplified by stakeholders’ and regulatory requirements for organisations to be more equitable and sustainable. 

The need for reporting of sustainability-related information, that is ideally interconnected with financial information, is not limited to large or complex organisations. All organisations need this information to develop and continually improve their business strategies, implement and monitor them. Further, organisation stakeholders, from regulators, investors to the suppliers and customers in the value chain require this information to assess stewardship.

What this guide addresses 

Developed with proportionality in mind and structured around an eight-stage sustainability reporting cycle, ACCA’s first-in-a-series guide suggests a flow of process-, technology- and people-related activities to prepare for and manage sustainability reporting. 

Professional accountants should lead the way and collaborate with technologists, human resource, talent developers, risk management, senior management and other experts to engage with the eight stages of the cycle, which outline:

  • who is accountable and responsible
  • the processes for identifying material sustainability-related information for reporting purposes
  • determining, collecting and reporting the data
  • considerations for verification that can lead to continual improvement of reporting, and
  • the role of people and technology as vital enablers. 

Sustainability reporting cycle Sustainability reporting cycle

Who should use this guide

This guide aims to help all organisations irrespective of size, industry or sector. With a focus on preparing for sustainability reporting in accordance with the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards (or the ‘ISSB Standards’), this guide applies their ‘building-blocks’ approach which makes it equally relevant to organisations applying other sustainability reporting frameworks or standards.

Designed to be relevant across different components and levels of the organisation, top-level executives and those charged with governance may find our interactive high-level overview particularly helpful. For those who need more detail, we have included examples and sample worksheets to facilitate understanding and implementation. Human resource and IT professionals may also find the People and Technology sections useful for resource planning and management. 

Written by Sharon Machado, Aaron Saw, Hsiao Mei Chow