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Free CPD: Where to start with sustainability reporting

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 22 Aug 2023

As more organisations undertake sustainability reporting, they are looking to finance teams for support. ICAEW membership provides access to a range of resources to help you get to grips with the essentials.

The proliferation of voluntary standards and mandatory regulations on sustainability-related disclosures, such as the UK’s Climate-related Financial Disclosure Regulations, mean it’s never been more important for finance professionals to be up to speed with sustainability reporting. 

ICAEW’s Corporate Reporting Faculty is producing resources to help members understand climate and broader sustainability reporting requirements and their implications, whether you work in practice or business. As part of your ICAEW membership, you have access to all of the resources detailed below, providing you with useful tools for your professional development.

First steps

For those with little or no experience of climate reporting, the Corporate Reporting Faculty have created a two-part webinar series providing practical support on getting started.

The first webinar, available on demand, outlines the climate reporting landscape before focusing on the UK’s Climate-related Financial Disclosure Regulations. Presenters Laura Tibbets (Associate Director, Grant Thornton) and Tiaan Fourie (Associate Director, RSM) outline what organisations are in scope of the regulations, clarifying the complex scoping issues around groups.

They go on to explain what is meant by climate-related risks and opportunities, before going into detail about what information the regulations require organisations to disclose. Tibbets offers reassurance that climate reporting is a journey that is different for every organisation and that will evolve over time.

“It can take up to five years from starting on this journey to get to get to a point where you’re integrating climate reporting into strategic decision making,” she says. “Especially in those early years, you really need to think about the minimum requirements  of the regulations and how you are addressing those as a base line. You might also start thinking about the areas that are easier to implement in the next year or two. 

“The important thing is transparency, and really communicating in your disclosures where are you on this journey. What are you intending to do and then reporting back on that; explain the progress you’ve made in these areas.”

The first webinar closes with a step-by-step roadmap which sets out how to get started on meeting the Regulations, which Tibbets and Fourie will be building on in the second webinar on 26 September. ICAEW members can register to attend live for free at no additional cost and will have the opportunity to ask the presenters their questions on climate reporting.

Register now

Practical tips on getting started with climate reporting and your chance to put questions to experts.


Getting into the detail

For those whose organisation or clients are in scope of the UK’s Climate-related Financial Disclosure Regulations, the Corporate Reporting Faculty has published a factsheet offering a comprehensive guide to the requirements. The downloadable PDF outlines how the regulations interact with Financial Conduct Authority’s listing rules and other strategic and directors’ report requirements.

Alongside providing in-depth information on each of the eight requirements in the regulations, the factsheet provides practical tips. For example, relating to defining and explaining time periods and providing granular and specific explanations.

The Corporate Reporting Faculty’s digital magazine, By All Accounts, also accessible by all ICAEW members, has published a variety of articles on sustainability reporting, including offering insights into the first two IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards recently issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board and why sustainability reporting is important for small businesses.

Practical support

As well as helping members understand the context driving greater disclosure of sustainability information and specific requirements, ICAEW is working to provide practical support.

In July, luxury fashion brand Burberry shared its five tips for easier climate reporting, which include making sure you understand the data requirements for scenario analysis and the importance of having the right team in place.

For those looking for support in how to get started with collecting data, ICAEW’s Climate Summit in November will be hosting a session on how to calculate your carbon footprint. Focused on the fundamentals, the session will outline what is meant by scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and what tools are available to make the calculation process easier.

The Climate Summit is run each year by ICAEW’s Sustainability and Climate Change Community and includes virtual sessions over five days. Open and free to all, you can book your place now.

Support for SMEs

While climate reporting is not currently mandated for smaller organisations, many will want to disclose information voluntarily and be transparent with their stakeholders and the wider public. With mandatory requirements also likely to trickle down to smaller organisations in the coming years, entities are looking to get ahead and start building their knowledge and skills now.

ICAEW’s Climate for SMEs hub, brings together a range of resources to support smaller organisations in how to get started on their climate journey, including reporting.

Meanwhile, ICAEW Insights is publishing a series of articles, ESG for SMEs, specifically aimed at demystifying environmental, social and governance issues and why they are important. Articles include:

More on CPD changes

ICAEW has created a range of support to help guide you through changes to CPD requirements.

Find out more about how ICAEW's CPD Regulations are changing after 1 November 2023

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