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UNCTAD - ISAR - WBCSD Webinar Assurance on Sustainability Reports: Current Practices and Challenges

Join UNCTAD - ISAR - WBCSD Webinar on Assurance on Sustainability Reports: Current Practices and Challenges 2:00- 3:30 pm  CET Tuesday, 16 June 2020 

Listen to the recording here.

Over the years, the demand on enterprises for disclosures on their performance with respect to the environmental, social and governance aspects of their operations has been rising. As a result, the of number of enterprises publishing sustainability reports has grown over the last two decade.  
Indeed, some recent research reports indicate an upward trend in the number of sustainability reports on which assurance has been provided by a third party. However, this development poses a number of challenges.

Unlike financial reporting and related assurance engagements, sustainability reports cover a wider range of issues and indicators of performance. A significant part of sustainability information is presented in qualitative rather than quantitative form. As a result, establishing materiality levels for assurance purposes becomes very challenging.  Furthermore, enterprises apply a variety of reporting frameworks and standards for preparing sustainability reports. The broad range of issues covered under sustainability reporting has implications for competency requirements on assurance providers.   In addition to accountancy firms, other players have entered this area of work. While some assurance providers, such as professional accountants are bound by ethical and other professional membership requirements of their legally recognized professional bodies, other assurance providers might not be obliged to abide by such requirements.

The objective of the webinar is to address the following aspects of assurance of sustainability reports:

•    Review recent developments in the area of assurance of sustainability reports;
•    Discuss efforts undertaken in recent years to promote quality and consistency of assurance practices;
•    Identify issues that need further consideration and collaboration to address challenges in the area of assurance of sustainability and SDG reporting by companies. 

Participants to this webinar will include senior policymakers, regulators, professional accountants and firms, academia, investors, among others. Please find below a tentative program for your ease of reference. 

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