Supporting the global profession
ACCA’s guide to preparing for sustainability reporting helps all involved, especially professional accountants, take a leading role enabling better business
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
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.
Supporting the global profession
Sustainability reporting - the guide to preparation
ACCA is committed to building capacity in the implementation and adoption of the ISSB Standards
ACCA is a founding partner in the IFRS Foundation’s Partnership Framework for capacity building. The framework is designed to support preparers, investors and other capital market stakeholders as they prepare to use IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards.
"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 onboard, and finding ways to improve. "Sharon Machado, head of sustainable business at ACCA
"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. "Hsiao Mei Chow, head of corporate reporting insights - sustainability at ACCA