As individuals, we’re all stakeholders for the companies which drive our economies and influence our lives – whether as investors, customers, suppliers, employees or simply as residents, dependent on the health of our shared planet. Those stakeholders are (rightly) demanding more of companies.  They want to understand the purpose and values of the business and its long term ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) commitments, and to see evidence of the business’s actions to achieve their targets, documented through relevant ESG metrics. As a result, for companies to succeed in the long-term, they must demonstrate how sustainable their operating models are, how they create long-term value for society, and how they make their company resilient for the future.   

Indeed, in response to the growing stakeholder demand for ESG information, many organisations have already started preparing for future sustainability disclosures by identifying the metrics most material to their sector, strategy and stakeholders, and developing the associated infrastructure to facilitate reporting on those metrics.

Moreover, as companies report and disclose more ESG information, they should expect an increased focus on the accuracy and reliability of their disclosures and metrics. With mandatory ESG assurance on the way for most large EU companies, management should ensure that they develop appropriate processes and controls, similar to financial reporting, and consider undertaking ESG reporting readiness assessments to ensure they are in a position to comply with the new regulatory obligations.

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So, what are the key questions you should be asking yourself as you build your ESG reporting infrastructure? These are the most common ones:

  • Have you done a robust and up to date materiality assessment over which ESG metrics you should be measuring and reporting? 
  • Are you up to date on global ESG reporting alignment? Are you clear on what is expected of you and what is mandatory to report?
  • How comfortable are you with the accuracy and completeness of the underlying data sources used for your ESG metrics?
  • Do you understand and have you documented the end to end processes and controls over the ESG data being collected and reported?
  • Is the scope of internal and/or external assurance over your ESG metrics sufficient?

Whereas in the past these questions would have typically been addressed by the sustainability or external reporting team, it’s clear that this is now a Board level responsibility. Critically, the role of a CFO extends beyond being the gatekeeper of just the financials to key non-financial information.  After all, “non-financial” information is increasingly financially material. It needs to be collated with the same rigour and ownership as financial information, and reported with appropriate prominence. 

Watch our ESG reporting webinar for more.

How we can help

KPMG has a dedicated ESG reporting and assurance team. The team works with different sized companies across all sectors to provide a range of different services, including:

  • Advising companies on current and future ESG reporting standards relevant to their business and sector.
  • Reviewing ESG disclosures both within the Annual Report and in separate ESG reports, for compliance with existing reporting requirements and to benchmark against good practice.
  • Developing roadmaps for future ESG reporting which align with where the Board wants to be and by when.  And bringing these to life through interactive workshops. 
  • Performing gap assessments over current ESG reporting processes and controls versus best practice. 
  • Delivering external assurance over ESG and other non-financial metrics under ISAE 3000.  

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Please contact our team below for further information. We'd be delighted to hear from you.

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Our ESG reporting & assurance leadership team

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