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Environmental, social and sustainability reporting

Environmental, social and sustainability reporting has grown substantially over the last decade. On this page you can access a range of articles, publications and online resources from our collection providing quick access to information on reporting trends and developments.

Featured report

Interim report of the UK's Joint Government Regulator TCFD Taskforce
HM Treasury, November 2020

This report – and accompanying roadmap – outlines the UK’s approach to implementing the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. The Government intends to introduce fully mandatory climate-related financial disclosure requirements across the UK economy.

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Featured eBook

Environmental accounting, sustainability and accountability

The book closely explores how organizations can embed care for the environment as fundamental to their functioning... [and] covers traditional accounting as a measuring instrument, contemporary advances and unresolved problems, alternative perspectives and recent developments..

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Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Sustainability strategies and net-zero goals

A new system for accounting and a re-evaluation of the value chain are key to a clear net-zero vision for sustainability strategies. The authors discuss a proposed new way of accounting for GHG emissions.

Climate change accounting

A look at problems with the greenhouse gas (GHG) protocol approach to environment, social and governance (ESG) reporting - and how the defects in the protocol can be fixed.

A baseline for: sustainability standards

Progress is being made towards creating global environmental, social and governance (ESG) sustainability reporting standards.

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eBooks

The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Six Capitals: capitalism, climate change and the accounting revolution that can save the planet

Six Capitals charts the rise of four movements: multi-capital accounting, for society, nature and profit; the push for a new type of corporation legally bound to benefit nature and society while making a profit; ecosystem accounting for nations; and legal rights for nature.

Environmental accounting, sustainability and accountability

The book closely explores how organizations can embed care for the environment as fundamental to their functioning... [and] covers traditional accounting as a measuring instrument, contemporary advances and unresolved problems, alternative perspectives and recent developments.

Environmental reporting

Covers on environmental reporting requirements in the UK, including the measurement of environmental impacts.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Useful links

ICAEW

Sustainability
Overviews and resources on measuring, reporting and assuring sustainability, sustainable business and climate change.

Reporting on climate change
An overview of current UK reporting guidance from the ICAEW Financial Reporting Faculty. 

Reporting on climate risks and opportunities
Practical guidance for organisations considering how best to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Published in 2018 by ICAEW in association with The Carbon Trust.

Government

Climate-related financial disclosures for companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
Guidance published by GOV.UK to help companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) understand how to meet new mandatory climate-related financial disclosure requirements. The regulations were made on 17 January 2022 and apply to reporting for financial years starting on or after 6 April 2022.

Environmental reporting guidelines
Guidance published by GOV.UK to help companies and limited liability partnerships comply with the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations which came into effect on 1 April 2019. Also designed to help organisations with voluntary reporting on a range of environmental matters, including greenhouse gas reporting and the use of key performance indicators.

Greening finance: A roadmap to sustainable investing
HM Treasury October 2021 policy paper setting out the government's long-term ambition to green the financial system, including streamlining existing disclosure requirements with new requirements, such as reporting on environmental impact.

Public consultation on the first set of Draft European Sustainability Reporting Standards
Public consultation, launched in April 2022 by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), on the first set of draft EU corporate sustainability reporting standards. The consultation runs until 8 August 2022.

Reports on development of EU sustainability reporting standards
Information published in March 2021 by the European Commission on the development of corporate sustainability reporting across the EU. Includes a proposed roadmap for the development of a comprehensive set of EU sustainability reporting standards.

Frameworks and guidance

Accounting for climate
Guidance issued by the Climate Disclosure Standards Board in December 2020, to support preparers in integrating climate-related matters into financial statements.

Developing corporate natural capital accounts
Practical guidelines for preparing a corporate natural capital account. Prepared by Eftec, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and PwC for the Natural Capital Committee in 2015. Intended for the most part to be applied by organisations that have a natural capital 'stewardship' role. Used by Forest Enterprise England, the first organisation to publish a natural capital account for an entire landholding.

IFAC Sustainability Framework 2.0 
Framework from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) for 'embedding sustainability into the DNA of an organisation', focusing on business strategy, operations and reporting.

IFRS standards and climate related disclosures
Article to help investors understand current International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) requirements and guidance on the application of materiality and how it relates to climate and other emerging risks. Published by the IASB in November 2019.

Non-Financial Reporting Directive Factsheet
Overview from the Financial Reporting Council of the new UK regulations implementing the EU Directive on non-financial and diversity information. Published in July 2017.

Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations
A set of recommendations which attempt to establish best practice for corporate reporting on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and enable more effective and standardized reporting on climate change, social and other environmental impacts. Published in January 2020 by IFAC, ACCA, ICAS, CA ANZ, the IIRC and the World Benchmarking Alliance. 

Your guide to ESG reporting
Guidance issued by the London Stock Exchange Group giving recommendations for good practice in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting based on what investors would like to see companies provide.

Organisations

Accounting for Sustainability
Body aimed at developing practical guidance and tools for embedding sustainability into decision-making and reporting processes. The website provides a how to guide on connected reporting and examples of published reports.

Climate Disclosure Standards Board
International consortium of business and environmental NGOs. Offers companies a framework for reporting environmental information and natural capital in mainstream reports such as the annual report, 10-K filing or integrated report.

CSR Europe
Professional network connecting companies to share corporate social responsibility best practice and projects. The website offers a toolbox of ideas and advice to help organisations implement CSR.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a network-based organization which developed one of the most widely adopted sustainability reporting framework. The website includes access to the latest version of the GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards).

IFRS - International Sustainability Standards Board
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was set up by the IFRS Foundation Trustees in November 2021. The intention is for the ISSB to develop a global baseline of sustainability disclosure standards to provide information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities to investors and other capital market participants. The following exposure drafts were published in March 2022 and are open for comment until 29 July 2022:

Natural Capital Coalition
Coalition made up of over 200 organisations who are working to create a world where business conserves and enhances natural capital. Site includes the Natural Capital Protocol which offers business managers a standardised framework to identify, measure, and value impacts and dependencies on natural capital.

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
Task Force set up by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) which provides a framework for climate-related financial disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders.

Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)
New global initiative which aims to give financial institutions and companies a complete picture of their environmental risks. In 2023 it will deliver a framework for organisations to report and act on evolving nature-related risks.

Value Reporting Foundation
Global nonprofit organisation created from the merger of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) in June 2021. Offers resources to help businesses and investors develop a shared understanding of enterprise value. These include an Integrated Reporting Framework and the SASB Standards, a set of globally applicable, industry-specific standards to help businesses identify, manage and communicate financially-material sustainability information to their investors.

Directories, reports and surveys

Better sustainability reporting 
KPMG web section covering the latest industry developments towards creating a single sustainability reporting framework.

Carrots & Sticks Report 2020
The Carrots & Sticks 2020 report is the fifth in a series of regular stocktakes of sustainability disclosure requirements world-wide. This latest edition covers 84 countries and was produced jointly by GRI, United Nations Environment Programme and the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). An online Carrots & Sticks database provides details of reporting instruments identified as part of the research. An archive of previous reports is also available.

Corporate Register 
A free online directory of corporate responsibility reports compiled by Next Step Consulting. Over 23,000 current and historical reports are included from companies worldwide. Free registration is required.

Driving alignment in climate-related reporting
A practical guide to assist organizations in understanding and implementing the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations when using the participants’ globally applicable frameworks and standards. Report published by the Corporate Reporting Dialogue in September 2019.

Evolving climate accountability: A global review of public sector environmental reporting
Report from CIPFA on what public sector organisations around the world are doing to report their impact on the climate. Provides insights into current sustainability reporting practices and identifies areas for consideration in order for sustainability reporting to become a mainstream part of public sector external reporting. Published in July 2021.

Falling short?
A review of the 2019 environmental and climate-related disclosures of Europe's 50 largest listed companies, under the EU Non-Financial reporting Directive (NFRD). Published by the Climate Disclosures Standards Board. 

FRC climate thematic - Reporting
A report forming part of the Financial Reporting Council's 2020 thematic review of climate-related considerations. It addresses the question, 'how are companies developing their reporting on climate-related challenges?'.

IFAC Sustainability Gateway

The International Federation of Accountants maintain this gateway to discussions, resources and news on sustainability and corporate responsibility.

KPMG survey of sustainability reporting 2020
A regular survey conducted by KPMG on sustainaiblity reporting. It explores the reporting of the world's largest 250 companies and takes a detailed look at global reporting trends, covering 5,200 companies in 52 countries and jurisdictions.

Purpose and impact in sustainability reporting: A review of leading UK companies
A review by PwC of sustainability reporting across the FTSE 350, public interest entities and selected inbound companies. Provides tips on how companies can improve their reporting with examples of leading practice. Published in November 2019.

The rise of ESG – what does it mean for the charities sector?
Report by RSM published in March 2022. Examines areas of ESG that are commonly disclosed in the annual reports and websites of 114 charities across England, Wales and Scotland to help understand how charities are currently reporting on their ESG performance. Registration required to view the report.

Articles and books in the Library collection

Selected articles and books

Heating up the debate
By All Accounts, January 2020
A discussion of recent developments in climate related disclosures, and the challenges ahead. 

Corporate carbon and climate accounting
(Springer, 2015)
Discusses management accounting approaches for analysing business benefits and costs of climate change. Covers future directions on carbon accounting and performance measurement and reporting. Also looks at links between climate accounting and business processes, product and service development, supply chain innovation, economic successes and stakeholder relations.

The integrated reporting movement: meaning, momentum, motives and materiality
(Wiley, 2015)
By analysing the integrated reports of 124 companies around the world, this book aims to provide insights on opportunities and challenges in integrated reporting.

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