Date posted: 06/09/2022 4 min read

Sustainability update for July and August 2022

Developments in sustainability continue to progress locally and internationally. Keep up to date with the latest for July and August 2022.

In July and August 2022, we have seen developments in Australia and New Zealand with government consultations relating to climate-related disclosures, the safeguard mechanism and a review of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act three years on from first implementation. 

Climate-related disclosures final consultation

The External Reporting Board (XRB) has published their third and final consultation on climate-related disclosures. The disclosure requirements capture large, listed equity and debt issuers with a market capitalisation exceeding $60 million, large financial organisations, including bank insurers and managers of investment schemes with total assets of more than $1 billion. Reporting entities will need to produce climate statements and it is expected to commence from 1 January 2023.  

Safeguard mechanism reform: consultation paper

The Australian Government is consulting on options to reform the current safeguard mechanism to help industry reduce emissions in line with Australia’s climate targets. The consultation considers a number of proposals including the gradual reduction in baselines to help reach net zero by 2050 and introduction of credits for facilities that emit less than baseline.

Review of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018

The Australian Attorney-General’s Department is seeking views on the operation of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 and compliance with the Act during its first 3 years since 1 January 2019.

Contribute to CA ANZ’s submissions 

CA ANZ is seeking member feedback to help shape responses to the above consultations.

  • Climate-related disclosures final consultation – 15 September 
  • Safeguard mechanism reform: consultation paper – 12 September 
  • Review of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018 – 7 November 

Please contact the business reform team with your comments by the listed dates or to set up further discussions. 

An open letter from the CEO

CA ANZ’s CEO, Ainslie van Onselen has written an open letter to thank members for having their say on the recent climate and sustainability consultations. 

A4s sustainability reporting insights 

A4S (Accounting for Sustainability) has launched a Sustainability Reporting Insights series highlighting some of the key actions finance teams can take to respond to future sustainability reporting requirements.

ASIC has released guidance for the finance sector on avoiding greenwashing

New research has uncovered the energy, materials and financials sector have seen the biggest impact to financial statements from climate-related risks 

Five priorities to build trust in ESG

EY has released a report that unpacks the emerging sustainability information ecosystem. As interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) grows, there is a need for more trustworthy and useful ESG data. 

Adapt and thrive: Building a climate-resilient New Zealand

New Zealand has released its first national adaptation plan which is an important milestone in the journey of resilience and adaptation for every new Zealander. 

Historic UN resolution recognises healthy environment is a human right

On 28 July the United Nations General Assembly recognised that a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a universal human right. This historic resolution has the potential to bring real change.

Westpac NZ launches personal loan for EVs and e-bikes

"We know more and more Kiwis are keen to help reduce their carbon footprint by adopting more sustainable forms of transport, and the Westpac EV loan is our way of supporting that."

Beyond 'Business as Usual': Biodiversity Targets & Finance

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a report Beyond 'Business as Usual': Biodiversity Targets & Finance, highlighting the urgent need for the financial sector to act on biodiversity.  

NZ's financial system a major barrier to a low carbon circular economy

The Circular Revolution, a joint report by Grant Thornton New Zealand and SBN backs the movement towards a circular economy in Aotearoa New Zealand. However, the research reveals a lack of incentives for businesses to switch to more sustainable circular business models, and how our financial systems help perpetuate the country's current linear economy.

17 Day SDG Challenge

A great opportunity to bring your team together to build their awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they can make a difference together in the workplace and in their daily lives through simple daily habits.