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Sustainability reporting in danger of losing its momentum says ACCA and CDSB in new report


12 May 2016


Innovation & Enterprise
Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

Despite pressing concerns about climate change and growing understanding of the impact of business activities on the planet, sustainability reporting is failing to fulfil its potential.

A new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and CDSB (the Climate Disclosure Standards Board) suggests that despite progress made in sustainability reporting and its growing importance, the fragmentation of the discipline is weakening its impact.

ACCA’s and CDSB’s new report, titled ‘Mapping the sustainability reporting landscape: lost in the right direction’, examines the changing corporate sustainability reporting landscape, outlines its components, addresses current challenges and proposes development opportunities. It provides a considered overview of the trends, levers and drivers influencing the reporting landscape.

Jimmy Greer, senior manager professional insights at ACCA, said, “Sustainability reporting underpins the understanding of a company’s long-term economic value and contribution towards a more sustainable world. From the creation of the Michael Bloomberg chaired Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures to the agreement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, audiences are increasingly keen for corporate sustainability reporting to better inform a growing range of important decisions designed to support a more sustainable future.

“The report suggests that evolving expectations about corporate performance, new measurement criteria and the changing means by which companies are assessed, are calling into question the role of the corporation and the definition of corporate performance. For this reason, getting sustainability reporting right to meet a growing list of challenges has never been more vital.”

Lois Guthrie, CDSB’s founding director said, “The last decade or so has seen the rise of a new order of corporate reporting, which is radically different from the practices of the past. Despite this new momentum, we still lack an agreed way of describing the components of sustainability reporting. Through this report, we hope to prompt discussion among professionals involved in reporting who seek standardisation, rationalisation and order.”

To read the full report ‘Mapping the sustainability reporting landscape: lost in the right direction’, please visit


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Notes to Editors


About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 178,000 members and 455,000 students in 181 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 95 offices and centres and more than 7,110 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. More information is here:


About CDSB

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) is an international consortium of business and environmental NGOs. We are committed to advancing and aligning the global mainstream corporate reporting model to equate natural capital with financial capital.

We do this by offering companies a framework for reporting environmental information with the same rigour as financial information. In turn this helps them to provide investors with decision-useful environmental information via the mainstream corporate report, enhancing the efficient allocation of capital. Regulators also benefit from compliance-ready materials.

Recognising that it is equally essential to have information about both natural capital and financial capital for an understanding of corporate performance, our work builds trust and transparency needed to foster resilient capital markets. Collectively, we aim to contribute to more sustainable economic, social and environmental systems.