Contributing to the Global Economy

The State of Play in Sustainability Assurance

February 15, 2023

As the drive toward a global system for sustainability-related reporting continues, investors, regulators and policymakers are turning their attention to the important role of assurance in ensuring high-quality reporting. With the growing importance of—and reliance on—sustainability information, low-quality assurance is an emerging investor protection and financial stability risk.

The State of Play in Sustainability Assurance benchmarking study captures and analyzes the extent to which companies are reporting and obtaining assurance over their sustainability disclosures, which assurance standards are being used, and which companies are providing the assurance service. The 2019-2021 Trends & Analysis report marks our third annual benchmarking study of global practice in sustainability disclosure and its assurance.



Benchmarking Global Practice

For the third consecutive year, our analysis indicates that while the frequency of reporting ESG information is very high and the incidence of assurance is on an upward trend, there continues to be a meaningful difference between reporting and assurance rates.

95% of companies reviewed report some level of sustainability information.

64% of companies that report sustainability information provide some level of assurance on it.

57% of these assurance engagements were conducted by audit or audit-affiliated firms.



Mapping Global Reporting and Assurance Practices

This map shows a global snapshot of reporting and assurance practices including the rate of ESG assurance, the percentage companies reporting on ESG in a jurisdiction, and the percentage of assurance that is being provided by audit or affiliated firms.

Download the map to learn more.



Benchmarking Reports


Learn about Using ISAE 3000 (Revised) in Sustainability Assurance Engagements with IFAC's accompanying guide.


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