Driven by the renewed political focus on combatting climate change around the world and the Green Recovery, sustainability reporting is gaining momentum, pushed by stakeholders’ ever-rising demands for more transparent and better communication regarding the sustainability practices, initiatives, and performance of companies and organisations. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information is becoming as important for investment decisions as financial information to understand a company’s resilience, and there is a growing demand for relevant and trustworthy integrated information.
However, issuing a sustainability report is not always enough if an organisation wants to gain credibility and trust, and attract investors. Therefore, generally accepted audit and assurance on high-quality non-financial information (NFI) is a must. Further, this NFI must also be based on similarly generally accepted holistic corporate reporting standards. This is an essential step in enhancing relevance, reliability, comparability, and therefore confidence and trust in an organisation’s sustainability content, data, and processes portrayed in both internal and external reports, thereby also ensuring progress on the global sustainable finance objectives. But the journey to high-quality NFI reporting and assurance has only started, and still faces several practical challenges, linked to its object, its basis, its scope, its level, or its nature, and also on the professionals – and their skills- who will carry out the audit and assurance activities.
A few months ahead of COP 26, as the European Commission is issuing its eagerly awaited review of the Non-Financial reporting Directive, and the IAASB its EER assurance Guidance, ACCA, ECIIA, Deloitte and AccountancyEurope are delighted to share with you a thought-provoking discussion to address these challenges, and also explore the opportunities. The event also launched a guide for internal auditors and external assurers, resulting from the collaboration of the organisers and a vast range of stakeholders.
- 11.00 Welcome, Sharon Machado, head of Business Reporting, ACCA
- 11.10 Keynote address, Alain Deckers, Head of Corporate Reporting and Audit Unit, DG FISMA, European Commission
- 11.20 Keynote address, Lara Wolters, MEP
- 11.30 Panel discussion moderated by Pascale Vandenbussche, Secretary General, ECIIA
–Pauline Irwin, EER Task Force Lead, IAASB
–Mario Abela, Director, Redefining Value, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Observer to the IAASB EER Task Force
–Massimiliano Turconi, Head of Group Internal Audit, Ferrero International
–Sebastian Dingel, Sustainability Assurance leader, Deloitte Germany
–Victor Van Hoorn, Executive Director, Eurosif
- 12.20 Concluding remarks, Julien Rivals, Vice-Chair of AccountancyEurope’s sustainability Working Group
- 12.30 End