AIRA RELEASES WHITE PAPER ON ESG REPORTING TRANSITION
ESG Reporting: Challenges, Strategies, and Opportunities for Australasian Listed Entities
Today the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA) released a comprehensive NEW white paper - ESG Reporting: Challenges, Strategies, and Opportunities for Australasian Listed Entities. This white paper provides valuable insights, key challenges, and recommendations for listed entities navigating the transition to the proposed new sustainability reporting standards.
The introduction of these new standards in Australia and New Zealand, which are aligned with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) standards, will usher in a transformative shift in climate and sustainability reporting in Australasia. New Zealand has already implemented the New Zealand Climate Standards (NZCS). In Australia, the AASB has issued for consultation an exposure draft relating to climate disclosures only, which is in line with the AASB’s climate first approach. The consultation period closes on March 1, 2024. As outlined in the AASB consultation paper, the roadmap has Group 1 companies reporting from 2024-25 onwards. These standards are expected to have a profound impact on how companies disclose their sustainability performance.
“Australian companies have an opportunity to learn from the experience of their NZ counterparts”, AIRA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Ian Matheson said.
AIRA in collaboration with Atticus, conducted a comprehensive survey with over 70 ASX 200 and NZX 50 companies and AIRA corporate members from companies outside of this market cap range. The white paper has been prepared on the back of these survey results.
Key findings from the survey include:
- More than 70% of companies express support for the new sustainability standards.
- Increased transparency, confidence from investors, and improved sustainability data to enhance operations and decision-making were the three highest-rated key benefits expected as a result of the new sustainability standards.
- 91% of ASX 100 companies indicated their company reporting was Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures TCFD aligned, 75% for NZ companies and 58% for companies outside of the ASX 100 providing a solid foundation for adaptation to ISSB standards.
- High preparation costs, manual data collection, resource constraints, and the need for education and expertise are identified as significant challenges.
- Recommendations include undertaking a gap analysis, automating data collection and verification processes, engaging external assurers, and educating C-suite executives.
Commenting on the report Ian Matheson said, “It is crucial that companies act now to identify the best tools, processes, and data sources to ensure a smooth transition. As assurance of sustainability information will become mandatory, companies should ensure their accounting firms have adequate resources to cover this.”
“Managing sustainability and annual reporting without semi-automated processes risks overburdening teams and missing deadlines.,” concluded Thom Mackey, CEO of Atticus.
The white paper also features case studies from Chorus New Zealand Limited and Vicinity Centres, highlighting their approaches to climate and sustainability reporting.
The report serves as a vital resource for companies navigating the transition to ISSB-aligned standards, offering actionable recommendations and valuable insights to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
To access the full white paper, please visit AIRA White Papers.
For more information contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Australasian Investor Relations Association
+61 2 9872 9100
The Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA) was established in 2001 to advance the awareness of and best practice in investor relations in Australia and New Zealand and thereby improve the relationship between listed entities and the investment community. The Association's 160 corporate members now represent over A$1.2 trillion of market capitalisation, over 80% of the total market capitalisation of companies listed on ASX.
For more information, visit www.australasianir.com.au
Atticus’s verification software reduces the time it takes to verify corporate and investor reports by 60%, each year. Trusted by 16,000+ professionals across five continents, Atticus helps companies like Commonwealth Bank and Coles to improve the integrity and accuracy of information being disclosed to investors and the wider market.