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Corporate sustainability reporting is becoming more widespread. An independent auditor providing assurance gives a more objective view of sustainability reporting by corporates and provides reassurance to stakeholders that sustainability information is accurate and free of bias. What are the generally accepted reporting and assurance standards for sustainability?

The Global Reporting Initiative G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines issued the GRI G3 standard. The International Standard on Assurance Engagements 3000 (ISAE 3000) and AccountAbility’s Assurance Standard (AA1000 AS, 2008) are the most generally know assurance standards for sustainability reporting.

Sustainability assurance

The focus of sustainability reporting is not only on verification of reported data, but assurance provided by an independent auditor also ensures that the right kind of information is reported.

Enhancing credibility

As a consequence of globalization and the opportunities provided by the cloud, assurance frameworks and standards such as professional auditing standards play an increasing role in enhancing the credibility of companies’ outsourcing, security and sustainability reports.

Sustainability reporting

In today’s markets analysts and investors incorporate sustainability information in analyst reports and investments recommendations. This implies that sustainability reporting has become an important driver for growth and positioning in the financial markets.

ISAE 3000

ISAE 3000 and AA1000 AS take a significantly different approach. ISAE 3000 is issued by public accountants firms and stresses the importance of data quality, reporting procedures, controls and evidence gathering procedures. AA 1000 AS is generally used by specialist bodies and emphasizes the need for organizations to demonstrate effective stakeholder engagement, the identification of material sustainability issues and the existence of a responsible business strategy which is aligned to the identified issues.