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BLOG | UNGCNA joins Australian peak bodies to reach consensus on sustainability reporting standards

Julia Bourke | August 10, 2022

The UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA) and other influential peak bodies in Australia have come together to provide a joint submission to the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) exposure drafts on sustainability reporting.  

The ISSB exposure drafts for its first two proposed standards, released in March 2022, aim to provide a baseline for higher quality, reliable and transparent reporting by companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.   

The group, which collectively represents the voice of 20 peak professional, industry and investor bodies in Australia, represents more than 400 companies, approximately 300 investors with US$33 trillion assets under management, and 500,000 business and finance professionals.  

The group supports a global approach to the development of sustainability disclosure standards and for the ISSB to be the global body to issue these standards. The submission provides key recommendations and improvements to the initial proposal drafts, highlighting the importance of stakeholder engagement and collaboration in the formulation of the ISSB and its proposed standards. The overarching goal should be a globally consistent, comparable, reliable, and verifiable corporate reporting system to provide all stakeholders with a clear and accurate picture of an organisation’s ability to create sustainable value over time. 

The submission also highlights that climate change represents a first order risk to the Australian economy, investors and the financial system. It also outlines support for the Paris Agreement’s central aim of reaching net zero by the middle of the century and ensuring this is framed by a just transition. To avoid large-scale financial risks from a disorderly transition to net zero emissions and the physical impacts of climate change, there must be clear and comparable disclosure of sustainability and climate-related information.  

You can read the full submission here 

To further unpack the aims of the ISSB and its application in an Australian business context, join the UNGCNA at our webinar on Wednesday 17 August 10.00am (AEST). Speakers at this event include: 

  • Karen McWilliams – Business Reform Leader, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and Director, UN Global Compact Network Australia 
  • Zoe Whitton – Managing Director, Head of Impact, Pollination 
  • Louise Davidson AM – Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of Superannuation Investors 
  • Paul Dobson – Partner, Climate and Sustainability, Deloitte 

Can’t attend the webinar? Register anyway to receive the recording.

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Julia Bourke