Date posted: 08/09/2021 4 min read

Your sustainability update for July and August 2021

Developments in sustainability continue to develop locally and internationally. Keep up to date with the latest for July and August 2021.

In brief

  • Governance and risk the focus of initial draft of climate standards in New Zealand.
  • ASIC is currently conducting a review on greenwashing.
  • When Chartered Accountants can save the world.

In July and August 2021, developments continue in sustainability in Australia and New Zealand with the announcement of the initial draft of the NZ climate standards and the AUASB issuing assurance guidance on Extended External Reporting (EER) in Australia. Globally, the need for accelerated climate strategies continues. 

Initial draft section of NZ climate standards due for consultation in October 2021 

New Zealand is gathering pace with an initial draft section of the climate standards focusing on governance and risk. Due for consultation in October, the draft section considers the processes used by an organisation to identify, assess, and manage its climate-related risks. 

Congratulations to Darren Beatty CA, Group head CFO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group and member of CA ANZ’s sustainability management committee on his appointment to the XRB’s External Advisory Panel (consultation group on technical climate and sustainability topics)

ASIC review addresses the threat of ‘greenwashing’ 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is currently conducting a review to establish whether the practices of managed funds and superannuation funds that investment products focused on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations align with their promotion of these products; in other words, whether the financial product or investment strategy is as “green” or ESG-focused as claimed.

ASIC is a participant of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), which has established a Sustainable Finance Task Force that covers greenwashing and other investor protection concerns.

AUASB has issued a Bulletin on Extended External Reporting (EER) Assurance Guidance in Australia

The purpose of this AUASB Bulletin is to introduce the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) Non-Authoritative Guidance on Applying ISAE 3000 (Revised) to EER Assurance Engagements (the Guidance) and provide the Australian context for the non-authoritative guidance published by the IAASB in 2021.

Corporate reporting: Climate change information and the 2021 reporting cycle

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published a statement to the Global Accountancy Profession in response to significantly increasing investor demand and regulatory attention on climate-related reporting. The increased involvement of accountants and auditors in climate-related reporting will help to bring investors greater transparency and insights on the financial impacts of climate change on organisations.

Investors release plan to establish mandatory financial disclosure on climate risk in Australia

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) has released a plan for Australia to adopt a mandatory financial disclosure for climate change risks over the next four years has been released by major investor networks to help cut red tape for business and protect national economic stability. The roadmap details the actions Australian financial regulators and the Federal Government can take to build on existing work and further ensure there is clear and consistent reporting.

Why organisations should accelerate the implementation of climate strategies

EY has released the 2021 Global Climate Risk Disclosure Barometer that provides a global snapshot of the increasing corporate focus on climate risks and opportunities as pressure from stakeholders moves them up the boardroom and executive agenda. The research found that companies have continued to make progress in addressing the quality and coverage of climate-related financial disclosures, driven by more regulators making TCFD reporting mandatory, pressure from investors, and the fact that the annual CDP response now incorporates TCFD recommendation

The Resilience Valuation Initiative (RVI)

The RVI is a coalition of stakeholders seeking to advance an accepted process with enabling methodologies for understanding the value of a resilience-building asset, feature or activity. The process will recognise the systemic nature of climate and disaster risks and important environmental, social, economic and governance factors. 

The RVI has released its first statement addressing what organisations want from an approach to value resilience.

When Chartered Accountants Save the World

The ICAEW has published their major content series which explores how chartered accountants are helping to tackle some of the most urgent social challenges within the UN sustainable development goals, and considers how the profession could do even more in the future 

Climate Summit 2021 – ICAEW

Ahead of COP 26, the ICAEW are offering five days of virtual events which look at climate issues now and into the future. Between 18-22 October 2021, the summit will cover topics from governance and disclosure to personal leadership.

The Good Governance Academy’s 6th Colloquium is fast approaching

The Good Governance Academy’s (GGA) 6th Colloquium to be held on the 18 November 2021 14:00 – 18:30 UTC will showcase the latest thought leadership on the global shifts in corporate and sustainable reporting and speakers will include key standard setters, regulators and a corporate proactively preparing for this shift – this includes representatives from the Value Reporting Foundation, IOSCO, the IFRS Foundation and ABN Amro.

What are climate-related risks and why should you know about them?

Physical and transition risk explained, and what this means for accountants.

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An update in the sustainability & climate reporting landscapes

In May and June of 2021, we have seen continued global momentum Including the merger of two significant bodies and support for the formation of a new International sustainability standards board.

Read more