Our initial deadline for receiving completed responses for both our two surveys – 2021 diversity and inclusion and 2020-21 economic contributions – is fast approaching on November 10. Member companies who submit their responses before this date will be eligible to select one of three charities they would like CME to donate $500 on their behalf. This year, the three charities are the Aurora Foundation, Earbus Foundation and UN Women Australia.
So far, two companies have submitted both their complete survey responses well before the first deadline! Additionally, five more companies have submitted one of two surveys to date and there are many more surveys in progress. This is a positive sign and we greatly appreciate the efforts of members. Please help us reach our target sample size to produce the compelling analysis which is so important for our policy and advocacy work.
Evolving corporate disclosures
In a world of globalisation, information and greater transparency, several of our member companies have increased mandatory reporting obligations or adopted voluntary disclosure standards. Some of these currently include:
- Payment Times Reporting Scheme
- National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme
- Online Register for Modern Slavery Statements
- Voluntary Tax Transparency Code
- Workplace Gender Equality Act
- Australian Industry Participation Plan
- Science Based Targets initiative
- Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
- Global Reporting Initiative Standards.
There are however now several competing reporting standards to pick and choose from. In fact, there are more than 200 corporate sustainability standards you can use, depending on which sector or country you are in. The IFRS Foundation is expected to make a final determination about creating a new International Sustainability Standards Board before the 2021 UN COP26 conference. Leveraging the well-established governance and relationships of the International Accounting Standards Board and the work of existing organisations (TCFD, Value Reporting Foundation, Climate Disclosure Standards Board and WEF), this will deliver consistency, comparability and reliability in sustainability reporting across capital markets worldwide.
More than 140 jurisdictions around the world require publicly listed companies to use IFRS Standards. In Australia, the Australian Accounting Standards Board adopted IFRS Standards back in 2005. While in the US, the differences between US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and IFRS Standards are converging. Should the IFRS Foundation be successful in setting global auditable standards for disclosure of reporting climate-related risks, we may see fewer standalone and inconsistent reports of annual financial reports and sustainability reports.
In response to investor demand in Australia, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is expected to finalise and release the Prudential Practice Guide CPG 229 Climate Change Financial Risks before the year is out.
Contact: Linh Nguyen