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Corporate reporting bodies commit to aligned sustainability

A group of the world's major corporate reporting standards bodies have announced a two-year project to create a more aligned corporate reporting landscape. The group's goal is to make it easier for companies to prepare effective and coherent disclosures that meet the information needs of capital markets and society. It also committed to driving better alignment of sustainability reporting frameworks, as well as with frameworks that promote further integration between non-financial and financial reporting.

The two-year project will involve participants mapping their respective sustainability standards and frameworks to identify the commonalities and differences between them, jointly refining and continuously improving overlapping disclosures and data points to achieve better alignment, taking into account the different focuses, audiences and governance procedures. Participants will identify how non-financial metrics relate to financial outcomes and how this can be integrated in mainstream reports.

The group comprises members of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, which includes the following key global standard setters and framework developers: CDP, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (participates as observer), the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Accounting Standards Board, the International Organisation for Standardisation, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. The group is convened by the International Integrated Reporting Council.

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue, launched four years ago, is the principal working mechanism globally to achieve dialogue and alignment between the key standard setters and framework developers which have a significant international influence on the corporate reporting landscape. Corporate Reporting Dialogue participants have regular meetings to align their views and to promote further co-operation. Participants have already adopted a Statement of Common Principles of Materiality, developed a common map of the reporting landscape and have supported the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).

Ian Mackintosh, chair of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, said: “The different elements of the corporate reporting system are not working as harmoniously as possible, with the result being that corporate reporting can be seen to pursue conflicting objectives, under disjointed definitions with unclear aims. There is a renewed urgency to drive better alignment that can combat reporting fatigue, reduce burden and enable more effective corporate reporting. Today, the participants of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue have made clear their commitment to delivering this.”

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