Standard-setting organizations join forces to enhance sustainability data

By Katie Keir | September 11, 2020 | Last updated on December 6, 2023
2 min read

Five global organizations have joined forces and released a statement that outlines what’s needed to push corporate sustainability reporting to the next level.

The standard-setting institutions — which are CDP Global, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) — said on Friday that an action plan is “urgently needed” due to the complexity of such reporting and the need for greater disclosure to stakeholders such as investors.

Businesses across the globe are already “using a mixture” of the frameworks and standards provided by the five groups, said IIRC CEO Charles Tilley in a release, but they aim as a group to help businesses report more effectively.

“The connectivity between sustainability-related factors and immediate financial-viability is clearer than ever before,” he said, if you consider the impacts that the pandemic has had on markets, business models and trends.

Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, added, “We have seen environmental disclosure move from being almost non-existent to fully mainstream” over the last 20 years.

In their statement, the organizations said that three top priorities are to provide: joint market guidance on how sustainability frameworks can be used together; consolidated insights into how such frameworks can be used in tandem with other accounting principles; and an overall strategy for how they’ll work together going forward.

Through examining each of their systems, the organizations want to come up with a “a comprehensive, globally accepted, corporate reporting system” that provides publicly available and comparable data.

One main goal, the statement said, is to ensure that reported data “can be consumed by a wide variety of data aggregators, analytics providers, ratings and indices.”

Katie Keir headshot

Katie Keir

Katie is special projects editor for and has worked with the team since 2010. In 2012, she was named Best New Journalist by the Canadian Business Media Awards. Reach her at