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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: Sustainability Disclosure and Assurance benchmarking studies 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 2019-2022 Trends & Analysis report marks our fourth annual benchmarking study of global practice in sustainability disclosure and its assurance.

Benchmarking Global Practice

For the fourth 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.

98% of companies reviewed reported some level of detail on sustainability.

69% of companies that report obtained assurance on at least some of their sustainability disclosures.

The mix of reporting standards used by companies remains fragmented.

As disclosure and assurance practices continue to mature, the use of varying sustainability standards and frameworks continues to make it difficult for investors, lenders, and other stakeholders to find consistent and comparable sustainability information.

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.

The State of Play: Beyond the G20

The State of Play Beyond the G20 expands IFAC's sustainability disclosure and assurance data to 20 additional jurisdictions beyond the G20 previously reported on. The State of Play Beyond the G20 focuses on the Global South with data from three jurisdictions from Latin America, six in Africa and Middle East, and four in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as six smaller-sized economies within the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

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