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 […]

Who can harmonise better? Five myths in the debate about the future of sustainability reporting

by Carol A Adams Main points: A proliferation of bodies setting standards and frameworks has led to a proliferation of bodies claiming to ‘harmonise’ them. Five myths are prevailing to support claims to move the authority base for standards and reduce reporting requirements. Recommendations regarding the role of key players are proposed.  COVID-19 has intensified […]

Europe needs mandatory non-financial reporting to underpin the COVID recovery

Main points: Non-Financial Reporting (NFR) is critical to building a sustainable economy post the COVID-19 crisis.  With a consultation in progress for the NFR Directive and the development of Tools and Mechanisms for the Integration of ESG factors into the EU Banking Prudential Framework and into Banks’ Business Strategies and Investment Policies the EU Commission […]

Value creation v impact

Main points: The SDGD Recommendations ask organisations to consider both value creation for the organisation and impact on the achievement of sustainable development. Key reporting frameworks are compared for their focus on contribution to value creation v impact. The SDGD Recommendations draw on the three most influential non-financial reporting frameworks/standards. Should reporting frameworks focus on […]

Airlines, COVID-19, climate change and risk reporting

COVID-19 highlights the cracks in corporate risk reporting and head-in-sand corporate governance practices.  The experience with SARS demonstrated how vulnerable airlines are to viral outbreaks, whether pandemics or not.  And recent negative coverage of Royals on private jets demonstrates public awareness of the contribution of air travel to climate change. But airlines are not acknowledging […]

Accountancy Europe’s proposal for sustainability reporting standards

Main points: Accountancy Europe has proposed new structure for sustainability and other forms of non-financial reporting Further consideration should be given to the problems that need to be addressed Any solution must involve enforced mandatory requirements for large companies Accountancy Europe’s proposed structures for sustainability and other forms of non-financial reporting mirror those of financial […]