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Sustainabilty Reporting Assurance


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Presentation by Ms.Sumana Sarkar of E&Y at the Orientation Session on Sustainability Reporting on 9th May 2013 at Bombay Chamber

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Sustainabilty Reporting Assurance

  1. 1. Sustainability ReportingAssuranceSharing of experience by Ernst & Young-Bombay Chamber Orientation Programme9thMay 2013
  2. 2. Contents► Sustainability Reporting Landscape in India► What does Sustainability Assurance Entail?► Value Derived from External Assurance► Key Issues in Sustainability Reporting► EY Recommendations for Sustainability Assurance► About Ernst & Young Sustainability Services
  3. 3. Sustainability AssurancePage 3Sustainability Reporting Landscape in India• Positive trend in number of Indian reporters and those seeking external assurance• Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the most widely followed framework for sustainability reportingSustainability Reports in IndiaReporters across diverseindustrial sectors:• Energy• Construction• Technology• Telecom• FMCG• Automobiles• Services sectorCurrent reporters aremostly large enterprisesForthcomingDevelopments:GRI G4 Guidelines,Integrated ReportingSource: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Reporting Database (
  4. 4. Sustainability AssurancePage 4What does Sustainability Assurance Entail?Typical assurance criteria:•Assurance Standard - ISAE 3000 (Limited Assurance), AA 1000 AS 2008•Reporting Guidelines – GRI G3.1 Framework•Stakeholder Engagement Standard – AccountAbility AA1000Assurance CriteriaTypical Assurance ProcessOrganizationalSustainabilityReviewStakeholderDialogue ReviewReview of DataProcessesChallenging theReportAssuranceStatement andManagementReportSite-wiseObservationsAssurance OutcomesManagement Letter(to the Management)Assurance Statement(appears in Sustainability Report)
  5. 5. Sustainability AssurancePage 5Appearing in the Company’s Sustainability ReportAn Assurance StatementDetailing findings, associated risks, recommendations, action points,management commentsManagement LetterSufficient appropriate evidence to obtain enough comfort for our conclusions forthe limited assurance engagementAppropriate evidenceISAE 3000, EN/HR/LA/PR/SO GRI G3.1 reporting guidelines, AA1000Assurance Standard, Company’s own protocolSuitable CriteriaData & information; systems & processes relating to the public SustainabilityReportSubject MatterAssurance provider (EY); the intended user (the readers of the SustainabilityReport); separate party responsible for the information disclosure (theCompany)A three-party relationshipExplanationComponents“Limited Assurance” based on the “International Standard on Assurance Engagements” (ISAE) 3000 – AssuranceStandard Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information.Limited Assurance - ISAE 3000
  6. 6. Sustainability AssurancePage 6AA1000 Principles Key CriteriaFoundation Principle ofInclusivity► Commitment to be accountable to all stakeholders;► Process in place for stakeholder participation;►Necessary competencies and resources to operate stakeholder participation;►Involvement of stakeholders in developing an accountable and strategic response tosustainability.Principles of Materiality ► Process in place for materiality determination;►Necessary competencies and resources to apply the materiality determination process;►Comprehensive and balanced understanding and prioritization of the organization’smaterial sustainability issues.Principle ofResponsiveness► Process in place for developing appropriate responses;►Necessary competencies and resources to achieve the commitments;► Comprehensive and balanced response to material issues;►Timely response that addresses the needs, concerns and expectations of stakeholders.Types of AA1000 AS Engagement:• Type 1 – AccountAbility Principles•Type 2 – AccountAbility Principles andPerformance InformationAccountAbility AA1000 Assurance StandardLevels of AA1000 AS Assurance:• High Assurance• Moderate Assurance
  7. 7. Sustainability AssurancePage 7Value Derived from External AssuranceOn the ReportingProcessReporting organizations areprovided with:•Insight from leading clients withbest practices•Independent view andrecommendations on materialityprocesses used for selectingissues in the report•Observations on how reportcontent can be expanded to meetwider stakeholder requirements•Guidance on achieving G3.1 A+application level from GRIOn Business ProcessesObservations will support:•Your approach to influencingcontractors•Approach to communicatingclimate change commitments toforums such as CDPCredibility with StakeholdersAssurance process presents clear andtransparent findings and conclusions:•Specific observations that provide depthto conclusions•Independent assessment of progressmade against previous commitmentsOn the Report•Provides confidence that publicdisclosures will stand up toexternal scrutiny•Provides conclusions on balanceand materiality of the report, andits value to stakeholdersOn Sustainability DataHighlight areas for improvement indata processes. Examples:•Consistency in applyingboundaries over safety/fatalityreporting from contractors•Scrutiny over greenhouse gasdata•Achievement of climate changereduction performanceGRI Recognition•Externally assured report receives‘+’ sign in the GRI ApplicationLevel
  8. 8. Sustainability AssurancePage 8Key Issues in Sustainability ReportingAssuranceCompleteness of the Sustainability Report(Organizational boundary – JVs, subsidiaries, overseas ops)Accuracy of Non-Financial Information (Datasystems and verification protocols are evolving)Comparability of Sustainability Performance(Comparison across companies andsectors still a challenge)‘Balance’ of Sustainability Reports (May be perceived as PRexercise – need to strengthen integrity)Applicability and Usability of Reporting Guidance(Need to adapt reporting framework to India and SMEs)GRI Report QualityPrinciples:► Balance► Comparability► Accuracy► Timeliness► Clarity► ReliabilityGRI Report ContentPrinciples:► Materiality► Inclusiveness► Context► CompletenessGRI Report QualityPrinciples:► Balance► Comparability► Accuracy► Timeliness► Clarity► ReliabilityGRI Report ContentPrinciples:► Materiality► Inclusiveness► Context► Completeness
  9. 9. Sustainability AssurancePage 9“What kind of principles are used to assurenon-numerical information, such as aCompany’s stakeholder engagement, orcommunity initiatives?”“What does the term Limited Assurancemean?”“What kind of variance in data isacceptable in an assurance?”“How is Assurance different from anAudit?”Commonly Asked QuestionsAnyothers??
  10. 10. Sustainability AssurancePage 10GRI Guidance on seeking External AssuranceSix Key Qualities for External Assurance of Sustainability Reports:► should be conducted by external groups or individuals, who are demonstrablycompetent in the subject matter and assurance practices;► assurance providers should publish an independent and impartial conclusionon the report;► assurance should be systematic, documented, evidence-based, and characterizedby defined procedures;► assess whether the report provides a reasonable and balanced presentation ofperformance; consider the veracity of report data and overall selection of content;► assess the extent to which the reporter has applied the GRI Reporting Frameworkand Principles;► should result in an opinion or set of conclusions that is publicly available inwritten form, and a statement from the assurance provider on its relationship to thereport preparer
  11. 11. Sustainability AssurancePage 11EY pointers for SustainabilityReporters/AuditeesThird-party assurance is critical for establishingcredibility of non-financial reportingUse the assurance process as a processimprovement tool, rather than just a dataverification exerciseUnderstand and correctly apply the ReportContent and Quality Principles of GRIInternal and external stakeholder views areequally important in identifying issues mostmaterial to the organization’s sustainability
  12. 12. Sustainability AssurancePage 1212About Ernst & Young
  13. 13. Sustainability AssurancePage 13Who we are and what we stand for156,000 people | 750 offices | 140 countries | 1 unwavering commitmentWho we arePeople who demonstrate integrity, respect andteaming.People with energy, enthusiasm, and thecourage to lead.People who build relationships based on doingthe right thing.Ernst & Young – A global leaderErnst & Young is a global leader in assurance,tax, transaction and advisory services.Worldwide, our 141,000 people are united byour shared values and an unwaveringcommitment to quality.In India*► >6600 people► 198 partners► 10 locations► Industry expertise – Focused industryWhat westand forAt Ernst & Young,we’re committedto helping ourpeople, ourclients and ourwider communitiesachieve theirpotential.It’s how we makea difference.
  14. 14. Page 14 Sustainability AssuranceEY Sustainability Advisory and AssuranceServicesAssuranceAdvisorySustainabilityStrategy and GapAnalysisSustainability Audit:IndependentReview ofeffectiveness ofSustainabilityInternalControls +remediationSustainability ReportingRoadmapAnswers questions:should we report?What is the BusinessCase for reporting inour case ? What areour peers doing ?SustainabilityReporting Assurance:Externalassurance onSustainabilityReportsSustainabilityManagement Systems:Design andimplementationof processes,ManagementSystems,Organizations,SustainabilityStrategy:Diagnosis,benchmarkingand roadmapforsustainability. It includesgap analysisvis a vis bestin classcompanies inSustainability Reporting AdvisoryIdentification ofsustainabilityperformance indicators,Identify hurdles andopportunities inenvironmental and socialperformanceStakeholder valueenhancement Brandvalue enhancementSustainability Risks and OpportunityAssessment:Risk mapping, Riskprioritization, Identificationof Opportunities arisingfrom SustainabilityconsiderationsSocial Responsibility – ProgramManagementIndependent Review ofeffectiveness ofSustainability InternalControls + remediationOur approach to sustainability is not only reporting the data. We look at sustainability comprehensivelyand offer an array of services to clients through directed solutions which facilitate answer the questionsof the companies and stakeholders.
  15. 15. Sumana SarkarManagerClimate Change &SustainabilityServicesErnst & Young Pvt.Ltd.ContactMobile no :