Reporting spreads confusion
- Reporting ,
- Business & Industry ,
Fragmentation is undermining the potential of sustainability reporting to help organisations meet evolving challenges, according to analysis by accounting experts.
A study, by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), examines the changing reporting environment over the past ten years.
It notes that new subject matter, such as social impact, supplier relationships and environmental management, have been introduced in response to demands from stakeholders wanting to assess an organisation’s performance. At the same time, existing subject matter has been expanded, including how governance and remuneration practices are used to encourage particular behaviours.
As factors that threaten society, the economy and the environment are increasingly understood, demand is growing for information about how corporate activity jeopardises or contributes to long-term sustainability goals, the report states.
However, the absence of a universally accepted approach to categorising all the components of the landscape has confused reporters, while users of information increasingly complain that reports contain ‘immaterial clutter’. Lois Guthrie, founding director at the CDSB, said: ‘The past decade has seen the rise of a new order of corporate reporting. Despite this, we still lack an agreed way of describing the components of sustainability reporting.’
Recommendations to improve sustainability reports include: the development of shared objectives by reporting frameworks, such as the GRI and the CDP; greater clarity over what is considered material and organisational boundaries; and better alignment between different reporting requirements.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to increase by 4% over the next 10 years, despite the carbon intensity of production declining. That is according to a new report from the UN food agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which forecasts that 80% of the increase will come from livestock.
Half of consumers worldwide now consider the sustainability of food and drink itself, not just its packaging, when buying, a survey of 14,000 shoppers across 18 countries has discovered. This suggests that their understanding of sustainability is evolving to include wellbeing and nutrition, with sustainable packaging now considered standard.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.
IEMA has today urged the UK government to focus on developing green skills and expertise across business, industry and civil society following the publication of an alarming report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC).