The State of Play in Sustainability Assurance

June 23, 2021 Published: IFAC As the drive toward a global system for sustainability-related reporting continues, investors, regulators and policymakers are turning their attention to the important role of assurance in ensuring high-quality reporting. With the growing importance of—and reliance on—sustainability information, low-quality assurance is an emerging investor protection and financial stability risk. This global benchmarking study captures and analyzes the extent to which companies are reporting and obtaining assurance over their sustainability disclosures, which assurance standards are being used, and which companies are providing the assurance service. The data shows a situation that is still evolving, with significant differences in practices across different jurisdictions. Around half of companies reviewed are publishing sustainability information that is subject to any assurance. For those that do obtain assurance, it is often being provided by consultants or others, and not by independent professional accountants who possess the unique combination of skills, qualifications, experience, and professional ethical obligation to act in the public interest.


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