Thursday, January 2, 2014

New IIRC Framework and GRI's G4 aligned: Revised Comparative Table

Following the launch of the IIRC's International <IR> Framework in December, a revised Comparative Table (click here) on the core requirements of the Integrated Reporting Framework (IR1) and the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines is now available. It lists the core requirements of the IR1 and indicates alongside each the most relevant requirements of the G4.

The Comparative Table is of special use to organizations currently planning their next reporting cycle, considering a transition to <IR> whilst assessing how their sustainability reporting fits and contributes to a broader scheme of aligned communications. The given is that sustainability reporting will continue to exist (online and in other forms) alongside financial reporting and integrated reports, as presented in the graphic below. The 3d revised Comparative Table illustrates how the description of purpose, fundamental concepts, principles, content elements, preparation and presentation guidance of the IIRC and GRI compare. It also suggests which G4 indicators to consider when reporting on the six Capitals in an <IR>.

The purpose of the IR1 G4 Comparative Table is to support:
  1. Business managers and consultants in assessing what aspects of G4 reporting content to consider in extracting content for the more concise <IR> (targeting one specific stakeholder group);
  2. Participants in the networks of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to better define related content and complementarity between the international frameworks involved;
  3. Regulators to comprehend and assess the evolution of the financial and non-financial reporting landscape, considering how regulatory requirements could support take-up and disclosure of relevant information; and
  4. Interested stakeholders in understanding how the content of the <IR>, sustainability reporting and financial reporting connects and can be more mutually supportive.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Cornis for this very useful insight which I am sure will be a great help to all.

    As you correctly point out IR basically only attends to the needs of one specific stakeholder (investors), and whilst IR reporting and SASB will achieve more comparable reports, the new G4's focus on materiality will result in not necessarily making information available for comparative purposes, especially when taken into consideration boundary considerations.

    However, one thing which I feel important to complete your disclosure landscape is the inclusion of the AA1000 series, since, on the one hand the correct application of this series of standards ensures stakeholder inclusiveness and facilitates the identification and response to material issues, and on the other it is still the only international standard specifically designed for the assurance of sustainability reports, and will enhance any future G4 report requiring assuring.

    As you mention quite correctly, we have already had some 20 years of experimentation, and many of the recognised experts in sustainability reporting have been using AA1000 for the last decade.

    We must remember the reporting exercise, needs to be based on a solid commitment to stakeholders. If not, the reporting exercise will become just that, an annual compliance exercise that adds no value to addressing the genuine sustainability issues an organisation has.


Thank you for your comment. It will be published as soon as approved. Best Regards, Cornis