The path to ESG reporting and attestation readiness
17 August 2022
Companies are currently at different places in their ESG management, stewardship and strategy continuum. Where a company resides in developing and deploying its ESG strategy impacts its ability and readiness to report out publicly on ESG factors that they deem significant to their business, and how they are mitigating against risk and maximizing opportunity across their business operations.
The following depicts considerations which are iterative in nature that company management teams and board members may use in helping understand the scope of their ESG reporting and attestation readiness along with their attestation needs.
Note — Sample questions have been provided to inspire further dialogue and understanding for framing and scoping purposes.
In the brochure available for download below, we will discuss the following questions:
TAKING INVENTORY OF ESG FACTORS TO CONSIDER AND CURRENT ACTIVITY
- Has an assessment of ESG factors that may be material to the business been performed?
- Have the reporting landscape and stakeholder expectations been considered?
- Based on the ESG factors identified, has the company determined the information it wants to communicate?
- Has the company considered the various reporting standards and frameworks available along with current regulatory required reporting?
- What data collection and analysis are already being done within the company?
ESTABLISHING GOVERNANCE OVERSIGHT, ACCOUNTABILITY AND STEWARDSHIP
- Has the board defined its ESG oversight role?
- Does the organization (including the board) have access to third party resources that may be necessary to assist in ESG readiness through reporting?
- How will the company incentivize progress and hold management and the board accountable to achieve ESG goals and objectives?
- How will the board and management team remain current on rapidly evolving developments?
ESG REPORTING READINESS
- Has management, with the board’s oversight, determined what specific reporting requirements the company may need to comply with?
- Have specific ESG quantitative measurements been performed and are they supported by data governed by appropriate processes, policies and procedures?
- Does the existing control environment that supports financial reporting also support nonfinancial information related to ESG?
- How has management approached documenting qualitative ESG information?
- Is the company able to draft disclosures reflective of the guidance contained in chosen standards, frameworks and metrics to report?
- Have disclosures been viewed through the lens of what may be decision-useful to a ‘reasonable shareholder’?
- What is the value in having attestation of ESG reporting and disclosures performed by a qualified third party?
Source BDO Global