Sustainability Reporting

Regulatory frameworks and reporting requirements are rapidly evolving to ensure companies provide accurate information about their environmental impact and sustainability goals. Corporate Sustainability, also widely referred to as Environmental Social and Governance (ESG), is now an integral part of business and has until recently been shaped mainly by industry self-regulation and voluntary reporting.

In 2023, the International Sustainability Standards Board issued the global sustainability disclosure standards with the aim of creating a global baseline and common standard for sustainability-related disclosures in capital markets worldwide. As a result, jurisdictions are developing frameworks aligned with global standards, and companies will be expected to present integrated reporting that meets mandated requirements, as well as investor and stakeholder expectations.

Recent years have seen increased mandatory integration of ESG-related information into mainstream financial reporting. The European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the upcoming UK Sustainability Disclosure Standards mandate that organisations report risks and opportunities relating to sustainability matters alongside their financial disclosures, including their climate and social impact.

More than just compliance, reporting on sustainability performance represents an opportunity for organisations to materialise their sustainability strategy, mitigate risks, and improve their operational performance. Sustainability reporting is a tool for companies to unlock long-term value and demonstrate accuracy and foresight in communicating their sustainability efforts to different stakeholders and investors.

What can businesses do to prepare for upcoming sustainability reporting requirements?

The UN Global Compact Network UK’s Sustainability Reporting workstream aims to support businesses on their journey to producing accurate, compliant, and decision-useful sustainability reporting. The Sustainability Reporting Working Group will bring together key UK companies to develop best practices and solve challenges in relation to new reporting requirements as they arise this year.

We will be running a webinar series in summer 2024 to share key insights and practical guidance for companies already scoped into new sustainability reporting frameworks or looking to get a headstart. Sessions will focus on topics from materiality, assurance, and risk to crafting a compelling sustainability narrative for stakeholders.

For more information on the above programmes, please contact Billie Armstrong (Project Manager, Sustainable Finance and Reporting)