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.
Benchmarking Global Practice
This global 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 data shows a situation that is still evolving, with significant differences in practices across different jurisdictions. Around half of companies reviewed are publishing sustainability information that is subject to any assurance. For those that do obtain assurance, it is often being provided by consultants or others, and not by independent professional accountants who possess the unique combination of skills, qualifications, experience, and professional ethical obligation to act in the public interest.
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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.
91% of companies reviewed report some level of sustainability information.
51% of companies that report sustainability information provide some level of assurance on it.
63% of these assurance engagements were conducted by audit or audit-affiliated firms.
Learn about Using ISAE 3000 (Revised) in Sustainability Assurance Engagements with IFAC's accompanying guide.