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Market for Sustainability Assurance Services

Learn more about the demand, supply and market for sustainability assurance services.

Market for Sustainability Assurance Services

  • A relatively less well-established accounting practice when compared to sustainability reporting
  • New form or type of assurance service
  • Largely unregulated (in contrast to financial audits)
  • Rapidly evolving
  • A new market (demand and supply dynamics)

Demand for Sustainability assurance

What’s driving the demand for sustainability assurance?

  • Voluntary undertaking in most countries
    • Exceptions France & SA – where legislation encourages external assurance
  • Stock exchange listing requirements encouraging sustainability reporting
  • Directors seeking comfort in the credibility of information published
  • Value addition from external assurance
    • External assurance raises the profile of the sustainability report amongst internal stakeholders
    • Sustainability assurance provider can identify areas for improvement (may also provide broad recommendations for improvement)

Supply

Who are the sustainability assurance providers and how do they understand sustainability assurance services?

  • Accounting sustainability assurance providers
  • Non-accounting sustainability assurance providers
  • Assurance standards
    • ISAE3000 (IAASB)
    • AA1000AS (AccountAbility)

 Review These Questions

Does your favourite brand publish a sustainability report? Search their website and download their report. If they don’t have one go to your second most favourite brand:

  1. Is it a stand-alone report or sustainability information contained within the annual report?
  2. What is the title/name of the report?
  3. What standards, if any, were used to prepare the report?
  4. Is that sustainability report externally assured? Find out by searching the report to see if it contains a sustainability assurance statement issued by an external assurance provider.
  5. Find, download and read a sustainability assurance statement/report.
    • Who issued the statement?
    • What was the scope and purpose of the engagement?
    • What level of assurance was being provided?
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