Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance

2021 Resources

News in brief: CPA Canada commits to achieving net-zero GHGs

A clean COVID-19 pandemic recovery: the global opportunity

Paying the (carbon) price for net zero: ACCA calls for global minimum price of carbon

Alberta Energy Transition Study

Can sustainability be a driving force for the Canadian economy?

Center for Audit Quality Resource Highlights How Climate-Related Risk Considerations Intersect with the Audited Financial Statements

Climate Action and the Accountancy Profession: Building a Sustainable Future

Climate-related Disclosure Update

Climate Scenario Analysis: Current Practice and Disclosure Trends

Climate Summit Spotlights Business and Accountants

DS Smith: Communicating a Circular Economy Story with SASB Standards

CPA Canada comment letter on proposed changes to IFRS Foundation constitution

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mandate Letter

ESG Integration Insights: Nordea Asset Management

A4s Essential Guide Series: Enhancing Investor Engagement

International Sustainability Standards Setting

Future of corporate reporting

Global Accounting Organizations Commit to Net Zero Goals

Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2021

GRI looks forward to working with new ISSB chair

GRI Updates to Universal Standards Emphasize Human Rights Reporting

How Future of Controls Can Support Your ESG Agenda

How much does the public care about ESG?

IFAC Calls on G20 Leaders to Focus on Sustainability Reporting and Public Sector Integrity

Corporate Reporting: Climate Change Information and the 2021 Reporting Cycle

IFRS Foundation announces International Sustainability Standards Board, consolidation with CDSB and VRF, and publication of prototype disclosure requirements

IFRS Foundation Executive Director Lee White on the #GHSCOP26 panel

International Sustainability Standards Board webcast

ISSB: Frequently Asked Questions

ISSB gets running start with prototype disclosures

Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

Over half of S&P Global 1200 companies now use SASB standards for sustainability disclosures

Professional accountants at the heart of sustainable organizations (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)

SASB Standards

Sustainability reporting and climate related risks are key focus areas for investors

Tailings Management in Extractives

In connection with the Tailings Management in Extractives standard-setting project, updates were issued to the Metals & Mining Standard and the Coal Operations Standard. The updated Standards include a new disclosure topic dedicated to the Management of Tailings Storage Facilities and new metrics in the Waste Management disclosure topic. The SASB Standards Board has also released a Basis for Conclusions documents detailing its rationale for the updated Standards, which can be accessed here.

Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): ahead of mandatory reporting (Financial Reporting Council’s Financial Reporting Lab)

Financial markets need clear, comprehensive, high-quality information on the impacts of climate change. This includes the risks and opportunities presented by rising temperatures, climate-related policy, and emerging technologies in our changing world.

Technical Readiness Working Group

The IFRS Foundation has today published a webcast explaining the recommendations from the Technical Readiness Working Group (TRWG) to the recently announced International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) for consideration.

The economic realities of ESG

Investors prize clarity about the initiatives companies are undertaking, the reporting they are doing—and the returns they will generate. Here’s how leaders can answer the bell.

The Role of Accountants in Mainstreaming Sustainability in Business | IFAC

Achieving sustainability requires technology and innovation to transition and could be disruptive. An integrated mindset is key.

Three-quarters of companies champion enforced global standards for environmental reporting

Businesses around the world are strengthening their support for globally consistent and enforced standards on environmental reporting, but many still have some way to go to improve their own efforts, according to the 2021 EY Global Corporate Reporting Survey.

Directors’ Guide to the SASB Standards

This Guide to SASB Standards for Directors provides industry-by-industry guidance on how directors can use the SASB Standards to inform and enhance their engagement with management. SASB Standards identify the sustainability issues most likely to impact financial performance of companies in 77 industries. For every industry, this Guide suggests questions that facilitate a more complete and robust assessment of long-term risks and value creation.

Advancing the Climate Resilience of Canadian Infrastructure

A review of literature to inform the way forward. Canada's climate is changing, bringing new risks for its roads, buildings, water pipes, ports, and transmission lines.

Introducing The Value Reporting Foundation

The Value Reporting Foundation is a global nonprofit organization that offers a comprehensive suite of resources designed to help businesses and investors develop a shared understanding of enterprise value—how it is created, preserved or eroded over time.

Review of net zero disclosures: Challenges and opportunities

This report outlines the key findings from a CPA Canada and Deloitte study of climate-action plans of 20 Canadian public companies and how they communicate them.

Climate Essentials for Accountants

This short glossary explains common climate terms and jargon associated with climate.

IFRS Foundation announces International Sustainability Standards Board

IFRS Foundation announces International Sustainability Standards Board, consolidation with CDSB and VRF, and publication of prototype disclosure requirements.

Moves to expand disclosure for financial markets are welcome

GRI responds to IFRS Foundation’s creation of a new sustainability board and consolidation of CDSB and VRF into the foundation.

Montreal’s selection as an office for International Sustainability Standards Board applauded: CPA Canada

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) welcomes the IFRS Foundation’s decision to establish an office of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) in Montreal, Quebec.

CFOs launch guidance for finance teams ahead of COP26 to support board action on sustainable business

To equip chief financial officers (CFOs) and finance teams with the tools to drive action on sustainability within their organizations, an international group of CFOs, part of Accounting for Sustainability (A4S), have launched the ‘Essential Guide to Engaging the Board and Executive Management’.

Canada’s transition to net zero: Accelerating collaboration to meet 2050

Canada has committed to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We reported on the need for a unified national plan earlier this year; this report serves as a transition plan for getting there.

Event Recording and Reflections: Plugging the Net-Zero Information Gap

We at IFAC, alongside many of our partners and stakeholders, consistently advocate for relevant, reliable, and comparable sustainability-related information, including enhanced climate risk assessment and disclosure. We believe professional accountants have an essential role to play as companies strive to meet rapidly increasing demands from investors, policy-makers, and other stakeholders for enhanced information addressing the global climate crisis.

How SASB Standards fit into the reporting ecosystem

SASB Standards identify the sustainability information that is financially material, which is to say material to understanding how an organization creates enterprise value. That information – also identified as ESG (environmental, social, and governance) information – is designed for users whose primary objective is to improve economic decisions.

Canada’s energy companies are gaining ground on climate risk disclosures, but there are still gaps to fill

Efforts to protect against growing climate risks and aligning business strategies with a net-zero economy have never been more important.


Upcoming event:
@IFAC is hosting a #COP26 event with @CDSBglobal & @WMBtweets to help professionals ready themselves to report on climate-related disclosures. Join online or in person November 2.

Overseeing environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters: A framework for boards

The focus on ESG matters is continuing to grow, with increased attention being paid by a wide variety of stakeholders. Boards need to be knowledgeable and engaged in the oversight of ESG matters.

Climate change - Financial reporting

Resource centre on the financial reporting impacts of climate change.

EY is now carbon negative, a major milestone in its carbon ambition

EY has reached this target by reducing absolute emissions, and then offsetting or removing more than the remaining amount of EY emissions, every year.

Emissions trading systems: The opportunities ahead

The costs and effects of carbon are a growing global concern. Large emitters now are faced with the challenge of how to price carbon and account for its impact.

A Baseline for Sustainability Standards

The trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation, the governing board of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) that develops IFRS, issued a consultation paper in September 2020 proposing to get into the sustainability reporting game.

Sustainability reporting and assurance: Why it should be on your radar

Learn how sustainability reporting and assurance impact the assurance profession and understand CPA Canada’s involvement in ongoing sustainability developments.

Why does Canada need a green economy?

Sustainable business is more than inevitable. It’s imperative.

SASB Standards XBRL Taxonomy now available for public use

Today we are pleased to announce that a revised version of SASB XBRL taxonomy is now available for public use.

Sustainability assurance resources

Take advantage of CPA Canada and external resources to help you understand and address sustainability considerations for audit and assurance.

Practitioner’s pulse (October 2021): A CPA's role in assurance over sustainability information

With global sustainability standards on the horizon, listen to this webinar for an introduction to sustainability reporting and to learn about a CPA's role in third-party assurance over sustainability information, including Canadian and global trends.

ISSB and the quest for a single set of global standards

The Canadian government has backed the country’s offer to host the global headquarters for the new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). Joe Pickard speaks to CPA Canada’s Rosemary McGuire to find out more.

IIGCC members representing USD 10 trillion in assets set out their expectations of companies on tackling physical climate risks

More than 50 leading global investors representing USD 10 trillion in collective assets support a clear set of expectations setting out how companies should demonstrate that they are adequately addressing physical climate risks and opportunities.

Net zero gets boost from global financial powerhouses

Credit rating agencies, stock exchanges, index providers and auditors fill the gap for net zero in the financial sector with new alliance that will help put climate at the heart of every professional financial decision.

Feeling the Heat: CEOs Who Ignore Climate Change Do So at Their Own Peril

On December 11, 1997, nearly 200 countries signed the Kyoto Protocol, extending the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It was a modest attempt to commit state parties to combat global warming driven by human-made CO2 emissions.

Sustainability assurance alert: Third-party assurance over sustainability information

We have issued Sustainability Assurance Alert: A CPA’s Role in Third-Party Assurance over Sustainability Information to raise awareness to assurance providers about the impact of increased interest in and reporting on sustainability information. Significant developments towards a set of global sustainability standards continue to take place, with a formal announcement of a new International Sustainability Standards Board by the IFRS Foundation planned for November 2021.

A4S essential guide to engaging the board and executive management

Find guidance and practical examples for CFOs and finance teams to engage their board and executive management team on sustainability as a driver of value.

IFAC Encourages A Building Blocks Approach for Reporting Sustainability

The International Federation of Accountants published a revised building blocks approach to reporting sustainability information, which enhances its previously issued roadmap, released in September 2020. With this revision, IFAC aims to foster discussion about how its approach could deliver a global system for consistent, comparable and verifiable sustainability-related information for investors and other stakeholders.

The Accounting Bodies Network (ABN), including CPA Canada, commits to net zero

CPA Canada commits to achieving net zero carbon emissions within operations and will continue to support our members, companies, and government with resources to establish their net zero GHG emissions pathways.

Sustainability and Business - Environmental Protection

Putting the E in ESG is the first of a three-part series of briefs exploring sustainability, business and the finance professional’s key role. This introduction to the series highlights environmental protection factors that finance professionals can focus on to make a difference. It includes a call to action for finance professionals to help organizations improve their impact on the planet. 

A Practical Guide to Sustainability Reporting Using GRI and SASB Standards

This article explores the experiences of companies that fulfil their reporting obligations using the standards of both the Global Reporting Initiative and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. The report examines the standards’ similarities and differences, and explores how the standards can be used together to meet the needs of a broad range of users.

Climate-Related Financial Disclosure

Climate Risk Technical Bulletin provides an overview of the Sustainability Accounting Standard Board’s approach to climate-related financial disclosure. The bulletin includes a breakdown of financial impacts by industry, an overview of current disclosure practices, and a table of SASB’s climate-related metrics and associated risks across 77 industries.

Key Actions for Establishing Effective Governance Over ESG Reporting

This article provides insights into how companies can establish effective governance over their environmental, social and governance reporting to ensure high-quality disclosures. Topics discussed include: how to determine the materiality of ESG topics; how to implement board oversight over material ESG matters; and how to integrate ESG matters into the overall company strategy. 

CAQ Examines ESG Reporting of S&P 100 Companies

The Center for Audit Quality reviewed the most recent publicly available data on environmental, social and governance matters for S&P 100 companies. The CAQ found that all companies had some ESG information available, with the vast majority of them publishing a standalone ESG report.

EC Proposes Directive on Corporate Sustainability Reporting

The European Commission proposed a new corporate sustainability reporting
directive to improve sustainability reporting, facilitate the European single market and smooth the transition to a sustainable economic and financial system.

ESG Global Advisors is Growing - Job Alert

ESG Global Advisors is growing! We are looking for an Associate to join our growing ESG consulting firm. The Associate will report to Principals on a project-by-project basis and will be responsible for a full range of research, reporting and administrative support. Please review the job posting for more information about ESG Global Advisors, key duties and responsibilities, qualifications and education, equity, and the application process. The deadline for submitting applications is July 30, 2021.

Assurance Standards Keeping Pace on Non-Financial Reporting

At its March 2021 meeting last week, the IAASB approved Non-Authoritative Guidance on Applying ISAE 3000 (Revised) to Extended External Reporting (EER) Assurance Engagements, which will be published in April. This guidance marks a significant step forward in supporting the evolving field of assurance for non-financial reporting. EER encapsulates many different forms of reporting, including, but not limited to, sustainability or ESG (environmental, social and governance) reporting, integrated reporting, reporting on corporate social responsibility, greenhouse gas statements, and service performance reporting in the public sector.

CPA Canada Urges United Effort Domestically to Support International Sustainability Standards Board

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) is encouraging leaders from the country’s private and public sectors to weigh in on important steps toward establishing a new international sustainability standards board.

IFRS Foundation Trustees Publish Institutional Arrangements for Proposed New Sustainability Standards Board

The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation (Foundation) today published proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Foundation to accommodate the potential formation of a new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) within the governance structure of the organization. In addition, the Trustees have published a Feedback Statement that summaries feedback received to their consultation on sustainability reporting.

Climate Action | IFAC's Points of View

Climate change is an urgent, global, and systemic issue that can threaten the sustainability of organizations, markets, and economies. It presents both physical risks (e.g., increasingly severe weather events) and transition risks (e.g., those associated with moving towards a low-carbon economy that may affect asset values or lead to higher costs of doing business). A low-carbon transition will change how economies operate creating both uncertainty and significant opportunities.

Sustainable Business Highlights from the Federal Budget Video with Gord Beal

The federal budget further advances Canada’s climate change ambitions by raising the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and a commitment to achieve net-zero by 2050.

Why Calculating Your Company's Carbon Footprint Matters

With the focus on climate issues and potential policy approaches, businesses need to know their carbon footprint and how they may be affected.

Canada is Making its Presence Felt in International Standards Setting

Our country punches well above its weight in the global standard-setting ecosystem, says CPA Canada’s president and CEO. It is an exciting time in the world of standards setting around the globe, and Canada is making its presence felt. From our input on envisioned global sustainability standards to our gift to La Francophonie in translating all international standards, it is clear that Canada - a country of just 38 million people is punching well above its weight.

Sustainable-Bond Issuance Reaches Record High in First Quarter

Sustainable-bond issuance surged to a record high in the first quarter as more countries and companies looked to tap growing demand from investors across the globe. Environmental concerns have risen for many investors in recent years as the world steps up its transition to a low-carbon economy, while the COVID-19 pandemic has put a renewed focus on health and broader social inequality.

IAASB - Extended External Reporting

Extended external reporting encapsulates many different forms of reporting, including, but not limited to, sustainability or environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, integrated reporting, reporting on corporate social responsibility, greenhouse gas statements, and service performance reporting in the public sector.

The global discussion around non-financial information reporting is evolving seemingly every day and organizations are increasingly reporting on their broader performance and impact. While historically voluntary, this type of reporting and assurance is increasingly mandated by law or regulation. Investors and other decision makers need a broader base of information to inform capital allocation and other decisions, including an expectation that reported information is reliable. As reporting evolves, there is a corresponding increase in demand for assurance engagements on such new extended types of reporting.

The Rise of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Investing

Insights from Canadian asset managers into the environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies in the investment management industry. 2020 was nothing short of a watershed year. Amid what was already a year of change across all industries, the COVID-19 pandemic served as a further accelerator of transformation. This was the case in capital markets with investments on an environmental, social and governance (ESG) basis, fuelled by some of these highlights of the year.

BlackRock Raises $4.8 Billion to Invest in Renewable Power

(Bloomberg) - BlackRock Inc. has raised $4.8 billion for a new fund to invest in renewable power assets around the world - almost double its initial target.The company’s real assets division closed on its third global renewable power fund, drawing money from over 100 institutional investors. It’s the latest sign of increasing interest from investors to buy into the surging green power sector.

Climate Change Risk Disclosures in Extractive Industries

Climate change risk-related disclosures in extractive industries reports on a study of 60 of the world’s most carbon-intensive mining, oil and gas companies and the quality of disclosures in their management reports and financial statements about the potential impact of climate change on their business. It concludes that climate change related disclosures need to be improved and that such disclosures in annual reports require more clarity and depth.

Sustainability frameworks and standards

Sustainability Frameworks & Standards: Sustainability Accounting Standards Board presents a summary of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s industry-specific standards for identifying financially material sustainability issues. Written from a management accounting perspective, the report is the first of a series of briefs exploring sustainability, business and the finance professional’s key role. These briefs will aim to help organizations consider their sustainability issues and how to integrate them into their long-term decision making, as well as their internal and external reporting.

Roadmap for ESG Reporting

ESG Reporting and Attestation: A Roadmap for Practitioners offers a blueprint for auditors to support companies in achieving their environmental, social and governance reporting goals. The report provides tools to help auditors advise their clients on their approach to ESG disclosures and help them determine whether to seek an attestation report on ESG information. The guide also helps auditors determine how to report ESG information in Securities and Exchange Commission submissions.

A4S essential guide to valuations and climate change

Understanding the growing and pervasive risk of climate change is vital for businesses regardless of their industry and location. The Canadian Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network has developed a five-step framework and complementary case studies to help investors and valuators incorporate climate change risks and opportunities into valuations.

Consultation Report on the Canadian Energy Sector's Transition to Net Zero

CPA Canada and the Canadian chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network recently convened a series of virtual events with key players across the energy sector to engage in a dialogue on enabling a net-zero transition for Canada. These events were set up to gather the following insights and viewpoints on a unified national plan toward a net-zero economy: What is the current and desired narrative, and what are the critical gaps to achieving it? This report summarizes what we heard from the different audiences who took part.

Three Skills Every Financial Services Chief Sustainability Officer Needs

What does it take to be a sustainability professional in the financial services industry? That was one of the themes that the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and Deloitte explored during a February 10 webcast on the future of the chief sustainability officer. The agenda included a panel discussion about the skills that an effective chief sustainability officer (CSO) needs to have.

IFRS Sets Out Strategic Direction for Sustainability Standards Board

The IFRS Foundation Trustees have set out their views on the strategic direction for the new board for setting sustainability reporting standards. Feedback to the 2020 consultation on sustainability reporting confirmed an urgent need for global sustainability reporting standards and support for the Foundation to play a role in the development of these reporting standards. IFRS announced that the Trustees remain on track to make a final determination about a new board in advance of the November 2021 United Nations COP26 conference, including the detailed analysis of feedback on the requirements for success outlined in the sustainability reporting consultation and other conditions to be satisfied prior to that consideration.

Global Framework for Investors to Achieve Net Zero Emissions Alignment Launched – $8 Trillion Investors Put it into Practice

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is today launching the ‘Net Zero Investment Framework’, enabling investors to maximize the contribution they make to decarbonization of the global economy and tackling climate change.

IOSCO Demands Better ESG Disclosure

Global securities regulators are calling for swift action to develop more consistent and useful sustainability disclosure standards. Following a meeting to review the work of its Sustainable Finance Task Force over the past year, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) said it sees an “urgent need” for global standards that “improve the consistency, comparability and reliability of sustainability reporting.”

The Worlds Largest Airplane Manufacturer Wants to Cut Emissions in Half

Behind-the-scenes of Airbus’s new “ZEROe” aircraft, a hydrogen-fuelled airplane poised to clean up the airline industry

IFRS Trustees Announce Strategic Direction Based on Feedback to Sustainability Reporting Consultation

IFRS Foundation Trustees announce strategic direction and further steps based on feedback to sustainability reporting consultation.

ESG is critical to your business resilience

Stakeholders and regulators are increasing their focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. How should companies respond and what role can CPAs play?

Public Policy Forum - Sustainable Finance 2 - Roundtable Series Summary

Canada has been trailing behind global developments in sustainable finance, though serious work – particularly in the private and not-for-profit sectors – is underway to develop and implement plans that support a sustainable outcome. If the sustainable finance market is to expand, Canada must provide comprehensive data and information and also offer policy and regulatory certainty for both providers and users. This report offers recommendations in four key areas

Climate-related issues: Questions to ask under public sector GAAP and SORPs

Climate change may affect financial statements of cities in several different ways. Uncertainties about climate-related risks and events may have implications for a city's cash flows, assets, liabilities, reserves, revenue streams, and cost of capital.

The future of the Chief Sustainability Officer

This report looks at the evolving role of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) in the financial services industry. We explore why some firms have CSOs and others do not, the typical mandate of the role, the skills needed to deliver that mandate, and various governance models.

IFRS Foundation Trustees announce next steps in response to broad demand for global sustainability standards

The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation met on 1 February 2021 to review responses to the first three questions asked by their consultation paper on sustainability reporting - demand for global sustainability standards, whether the IFRS Foundation should play a role, and, if so, the requirements for success in doing so.

GHG emissions management: Linking strategy, risk, & performance management (Guideline)

Gain a competitive advantage and lower your carbon footprint? Find out how to apply a step-by-step process to reduce GHG emissions for your organization.

Building climate resilience of cities through implementation of the TCFD recommendations

Cities are on the front line of climate change impacts. Stakeholders are increasingly demanding information about a city’s climate risks and opportunities to be included in its public financial reports. To integrate climate change considerations into short- and long-term planning, decision-makers within municipalities need reliable and consistent climate-related information.

Canadian cities adoption of TCFD framework featured in new Spotlight publication

Canadian cities are increasingly considering the impacts of climate change on their communities. While the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) were initially developed for the use by the private sector, they also provide an actionable framework for the municipal sector in adapting to climate change.

A Guide to Adopting the TCFD Recommendations for Cities

Cities are on the front line of climate change impacts. Learn how climate-related information can support municipal stakeholders with short-term budgeting, long-term capital planning and enhance the usefulness of a city's public financial reports.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB): Social and Human Capital Accounting

The WSIB believes that an investment in its employees is critical to the service they provide in the community, and therefore, to organizational success. Knowing through experience that mental health is one of the top three drivers of both short- and long-term disability claims, WSIB initiated a new mental health strategy for its employees.

Investor Interviews on Climate Disclosure and Decision-Making - Key Findings

Investors recognize that a transition to a low-carbon economy is happening, bringing significant investment opportunities and risks. Are you prepared to respond with the information they need?


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