A prototype climate disclosure standard with a flawed conceptual framework

by Carol A Adams At the end of 2020 various organisations jointly released a ‘prototype’ climate-related financial disclosure standard cobbled together in some haste from existing offerings. Whilst anyone familiar with TCFD, integrated reporting and GRI Standards is likely to be favourably disposed to the proposed reporting requirements, the conceptual framework underpinning them is flawed. […]

Sustainable development is too important for self-interest and political posturing

by Carol A Adams and Charles H Cho In their Green Paper Richard Barker and Robert Eccles claim to contribute, in a “neutral way”, to the ongoing debate on sustainability reporting standards and who should set them. We are not neutral. We believe that sustainable development issues are urgent, complex and that they present an […]

Next the Impact Foundation?

by Carol A Adams Main points: You can talk about impact on sustainable development without talking about value BUT you can’t talk about value creation without knowing your impact If we don’t achieve the SDGs there won’t be any “enterprise value creation” Sustainable development issues have “synergies” with people and planet – not financial statements […]

Sustainability reporting and value creation

by Carol A Adams “…it would seem that the very tenets of the kind of society in which financial accounting plays a starring role are grounded in injustice masquerading as decency” Rob Gray (Gray 2006 p797) Abstract This paper revisits Rob Gray’s (Gray, 2006) critique of the state of sustainability reporting and its relationship with […]

JSE event: Towards Common Reporting Standards: Will it help achieve the aims of sustainable development?

Chief Sustainability Officer at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Shameela Ebrahim, posed some very pertinent questions when we kicked of the JSE’s annual sustainability show case earlier today.  Her questions were: Why so many standards and what are the various standards meant to achieve? How directly relevant are they to achieving the aims of sustainable […]

Response to the IFRS Foundation consultation questions re their global Sustainability Standards Board

by Carol A Adams Main points: As formulated, this proposal is not in the public interest; The proposal is not cognisant of current investor and corporate best practice and findings of evidence-based research; A focus on the financial materiality of sustainable development issues is not in the long-term interests of investors, companies, society and governments […]

Open letter to the Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees from Professors of Accounting

Main points: Editors of accounting journals that publish research on sustainability accounting and reporting and Professors of Accounting who are key researchers in this field have written to the Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees. The letter summarises research relevant to the IFRS Foundation proposals to establish a Sustainability Standards Board. To:         Erkki Liikanen, Chair, […]

The Statement of Intent: proposing a different approach

By Carol A Adams Main points: The willingness of reporting framework/standard setters to collaborate is welcome A better place to start would be agreeing a conceptual framework Some key questions are posed to start the process and tentative answers provided Its good to see key global standard setters committing to work together with IMP and […]

A response to the WEF and Big 4

By Carol A Adams Main points: The Big 4’s Stakeholder Capitalism and Sustainable Value Creation may do more harm than good. The approach is not informed by the body of relevant academic research nor a conceptual framework. Achieving the SDGs must inform reporting practice Once upon a time there was a glimmer of hope that […]

Issues with assurance on SDG disclosures and NFR

by Carol Adams Main points: The consultation informing the SDGD Recommendations identified a number of gaps in assurance provision; The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is currently consulting on guidance on Extended External Reporting (EER) Assurance.  Readers will no doubt be familiar with examples of ‘green washing’ and ‘rainbow washing’ (referring the UN […]