New ISO standard unveiled

3rd July 2020

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Jonathan Hillier

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a new standard, ISO 14016 – Guidelines on the assurance of environmental reports.

The new standard can be applied to standalone environmental reports, or to the non-financial environmental information in an organisation's annual report or sustainability report.

While environmental (and sustainability) reporting is far from a new practice – it is in fact a rapidly growing element of a more sustainable world – confidence in the content of these reports has often lagged behind. Reporting on performance is one step towards environmental performance transparency, but without credible assurance of the processes behind a report, and the data within it, the end user is less able to rely on it.

ISO 14016 provides long overdue guidance on assurance for reporting organisations and those providing that assurance, and informs those who rely on reports. It addresses a wide range of assurance issues, including: the principles of assurance; planning and performing the assurance engagement; levels of assurance; the assurance statement and reporting; and competence. The guidelines can be applied to the assurance of environmental reports prepared in accordance with recognised standards and protocols for reporting.

ISO 14016 was published on 15 June 2020.

Picture credit: iStock

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