Organisations face growing demands for clear and transparent disclosure on their long-term ESG commitments from government and stakeholders.

Investors, suppliers, customers, and employees all want to understand the purpose and values of the businesses they work with or for.

Regulators and standard setters across the world have and continue to introduce mandatory reporting requirements too. From, TCFD to ISSB, SEC climate disclosures to CSRD, its clear that more ESG metrics will be required and formal assurance will be expected.

This has seen a rapid increase in the focus on and reporting of non-financial metrics. It has also resulted in the use of a vast range of ESG targets and frameworks, which can vary by sector, size and complexity of a business.

ESG assurance considerations

Assurance plays an important role in building trust around the robustness of non-financial information. But ESG disclosures are being determined by pressure from key stakeholders – or by where a business is in its ESG journey. That means there is no one-size-fits-all approach to ESG assurance. 

It’s important that you:

1. Understand what you need to do to get ready for assurance

Having an overview of the current ESG reporting and assurance landscape, including common reporting frameworks and trends is integral as you embark on your journey to assurance.

2. Consider an Agreed Upon Procedure (AUP) private report.

This is a detailed report of factual findings presenting results of specific testing procedures that have been undertaken. This might be useful when you at an early stage of ESG reporting.

3. Get an external assurance opinion.

Seek a formal opinion over reported ESG metrics and disclosures, which can either be private or made public. These opinions are delivered in accordance with ISAE (UK) 3000 to either a limited or reasonable level of assurance (depending on stakeholder needs).  Importantly, this will come with a private management feedback report with observations from our work. This service can be provided to audited entities and non-audit clients.

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