From a focus on climate change to a push for diverse corporate boards, ESG matters – those related to environmental, social and corporate governance – have become the focus of corporations and investors alike. Regarding ESG-related disclosure standards in particular, investors and corporations are both anxious to adopt and challenged to choose a standard that is both comprehensive and relevant to the respective company or industry.
Though the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) have gained a great amount of attention and influence in recent years, they often appear to be multiple attempts toward the shared goal of integrated and comprehensive sustainability reporting. Investors and corporations alike have called for simplifying corporate reporting in this space.
In September 2020, all five of these framework and standard-setting institutions issued a joint statement reflecting a vision to develop a comprehensive global corporate reporting system for sustainability disclosure. While that statement did not specify the precise form of such collaboration and did not include a specific timeframe, a recent announcement brought this vision one step closer to actualization.