Welcome back to our series on the Australian Sustainability Reporting Standards (ASRS). In this third piece, we explore the journey of sustainability reporting, tracing its path from voluntary initiatives to today’s emerging mandatory frameworks such as the mandatory ASRS climate reporting. Understanding this progression is crucial to recognising the potential impact of ASRS on your business.
Here, we explore the evolution of sustainability reporting. Watch as we trace the journey from its voluntary beginnings to the mandatory frameworks of today, highlighting the significance of ASRS for businesses.
Previous in the series
Before we explore the historical journey of sustainability reporting, make sure you’re up to speed with our latest insights on the dynamic landscape of mandatory and voluntary sustainability reporting in Blog Post 2 of this series. Understanding this context is crucial as we explore how these reporting frameworks have evolved to shape today’s corporate responsibility practices.
The journey from niche to mainstream
Sustainability reporting has significantly evolved, transitioning from a niche practice to a business imperative. Initially, it involved companies voluntarily disclosing some aspects of their environmental and social impacts. However, as global consciousness and demands for transparency grew, so did the need for more robust and accountable reporting measures.
The importance of ESG in business strategies
Today, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations have become integral to business strategies, moving beyond aspiration to accountability for impacts on the planet and society. This shift has been propelled by factors such as investor demand, consumer expectations, and increasing regulatory pressures.
Tracing the history of sustainability reporting
Our sustainability reporting story begins in the late 1990s with the inception of the in 1997, one of the earliest frameworks guiding businesses on environmental and social impact reporting. The turn of the millennium saw the emergence of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), focusing on climate-related disclosures.
The narrative continued to evolve with significant milestones like the Climate Disclosure Standards Board in 2007, Integrated Reporting in 2010, and in 2015, the introduction of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) alongside the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each played a pivotal role in shaping the sustainability narrative.
Towards mandatory reporting
The convergence of sustainability and financial reporting marked a new era, notably with the formation of the Value Reporting Foundation through the merger of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Integrated Reporting in 2021. That same year, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation established the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), marking a significant move towards mandatory reporting.
In 2023, the TCFD transitioned control to the ISSB, with the IFRS issuing . This led countries, including the EU and Australia, to adopt these standards, culminating in the creation of the ASRS exposure draft in Australia. Other countries like the UK and the USA are also developing their mandatory climate disclosure standards.
We’re now at a juncture where the distinctions between financial and sustainability reporting are fading, ushering in an era of integrated reporting. The ASRS draft is a testament to this shift, highlighting the importance of climate change and sustainability as central elements of business reporting and stakeholder engagement.
In our upcoming videos, we’ll examine the ASRS in detail and explore how your business can adapt to these changes, positioning yourself as a leader in climate change and sustainability.
Stay with us as we navigate these developments and guide your business towards successful sustainability practices. For more insights and expert advice, visit our service offerings on our website and connect with us. Let’s lead the way in sustainable business together.
Next in the series
Stay tuned for the next instalment in our series on mandatory climate reporting. In our upcoming blog post, we will dive into the specifics of the Australian Sustainability Reporting Standards (ASRS), focusing on how businesses can effectively prepare for and implement these new reporting requirements. We’ll explore practical steps your business can take to not only comply with ASRS but to leverage these standards as a catalyst for deeper sustainability integration and leadership. Don’t miss out on insights that could transform your approach to climate reporting and corporate responsibility.