Corporate reporting in the United States and Canada


04 February, 2018



In 2017, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in partnership with the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and Ecodesk, launched the Reporting Exchange. This free, online platform was designed to help business navigate the often-confusing world of corporate reporting. 

Compared to the development of financial reporting, the evolution of non-financial reporting has been rapid and fragmented. There are many regulations, reporting frameworks and tools which influence the corporate reporting process on environmental, social and governance issues (ESG). The resulting reporting landscape has been described in recent reports by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission1 and ACCA2 as complex and overwhelming. As such, there have been calls for more harmonization and alignment.

What are the objectives of the Reporting Exchange?

The primary objective of the Reporting Exchange is to provide much-needed clarity to people who write corporate reports. The Reporting Exchange helps them understand what, where and how to report on sustainability issues while supporting clearer, more concise and better-informed sustainability reporting.

The Reporting Exchange summarizes and connects ESG reporting requirements and resources from across 60 countries and 70 sectors. Better quality reporting practices can support better internal and external decision-making on sustainability-related risks and opportunities which, in turn, can influence capital allocations by investors – making more sustainable businesses more successful.

The Reporting Exchange also provides the evidence base to help drive action towards a more harmonized, aligned and effective corporate reporting environment. The platform maps the reporting provisions on sustainability across the world’s largest economies, showing how and where they link and align. The Reporting Exchange has also been designed as an open and collaborative space for the many people and organizations active in corporate reporting. It allows the latest developments, insights and good practices to be easily shared across geographic borders and sectoral boundaries. This will help accelerate harmonization and alignment of corporate ESG at a global scale.

About this report

This report provides a description of the non-financial reporting landscape in the United States and Canada using research conducted by WBCSD and the CDSB. It also includes thoughts from WBCSD member companies, our Global Network Partner, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR) and our Knowledge Partner, Yale University, about the challenges, opportunities and next steps for corporate reporting and disclosure.