New York, U.S., 22 November 2017: The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has agreed to collaborate with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) - to strengthen international assurance standards on sustainability reporting.
The collaboration supports WBCSD’s Redefining Value program and its objective to incorporate sustainability reporting within mainstream reporting, while ensuring external reporting follows the applicable IAASB international assurance standards (or their national equivalents). This consistency will champion the road to create greater alignment across reporting frameworks and to build trust and confidence in sustainability reporting.
The WBCSD engaged IAASB as a key collaborator for this new project because it is the global standard-setter for auditing and assurance standards.
Assurance of sustainability information continues to be an issue for preparers and assurance providers. Investors have consistently stated that assurance is important for building confidence in sustainability information in order for the information to be relevant and decision-useful. External assurance provides a critical role in building
trust and confidence around sustainability information.
With support and funding from WBCSD, the IAASB approved a major new project to develop voluntary guidance on applying its existing assurance standards to emerging forms of external reporting (EER). EER goes beyond traditional financial reporting to include sustainability (or ESG) information and integrated reporting.
Recent publications by WBCSD and IAASB highlight the need to develop guidance on how EER assurance engagements are performing. This is because companies are at different stages of maturity in applying assurance and may face various barriers or challenges that they need help to overcome. WBCSD considers the independence of IAASB’s decision-making to be a fundamental strength in supporting better EER assurance
Rodney Irwin, Managing Director of Redefining Value at WBCSD said, “The scale of the challenges we face in moving towards a system that considers financial and nonfinancial information requires unprecedented collaboration. We have chosen to work with the IAASB because of their internationally renowned methods of setting the highest standards and encouraging companies/countries to adhere to them. We look forward to a working together towards an economy that values the true cost, true profit, true value of business.”
Work will begin in December 2017 and draft guidance on key challenges is expected to be published in Q4 2018.
Notes to editors
This project is part of the Conservation and Financial Markets Initiative, a five-year effort of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that aims to leverage the power of mainstream financial markets in order to help drive the food sector away from practices that degrade natural ecosystems.
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is an independent standard-setting body that serves the public interest by setting high-quality international standards for auditing, quality control, review, other assurance, and related services, and by facilitating the convergence of international and national standards. In doing so, the IAASB enhances the quality and uniformity of practice throughout the world and strengthens public confidence in the global auditing and assurance profession.
The IAASB is dedicated to operating as transparently as possible. IAASB meetings are open to the public and meeting agendas, agenda papers, and meeting highlights are posted afterwards.
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) was founded in March 1978. It was previously known as the International Auditing Practices Committee (IAPC).
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About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation:
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit www.moore.org or follow @MooreFound.