Accounting bodies call for improved Sustainable Development Goals Disclosures

Leading accounting bodies have called for corporate and asset owner action and improved reporting on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in an attempt to hit goals set for 2030.

The recommendations are detailed in the report, Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure (SDGD) Recommendations, which was authored by Carol Adams, professor of accounting with Paul Druckman and Russell Picot, honorary professors at Durham University Business School.

The report has been published by global accountancy bodies including the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

The ‘SDGD Recommendations’ offer a “new approach” for businesses and other organisations to address sustainable development issues aligned to the three most influential and popular reporting frameworks.

The recommendations also attempt to establish a “best practice” for corporate reporting on the SDGs and enable more “effective and standardised reporting” and transparency on climate change, social and other environmental impacts.

The SDGD ‘Recommendations’ were developed through consultation with accounting and finance professionals, sustainability experts, academics, consultants, framework and standard setters, asset owners and managers and civil society participants.

Adams said: “There is increasing awareness in both business and investment communities that the health and wellbeing of the planet and its people impact on the longer term success of business.

“The SDGs offer an opportunity to collaborate and address this. A change in what and how business is done is essential to the achievement of the SDGs.  Key to driving change is the requirement for a statement from the board chair that the board accepts responsibility for the SDG Disclosures in the annual report.”

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