Agenda Item 4. Climate-related financial disclosures in mainstream entity reporting: good practices and key challenges
Agenda Item 5. Other business
Consideration of outcome of agenda items 4 and 5
Agenda Item 6. Provisional agenda for the thirty-ninth session of ISAR
Adoption of the report
Agenda Item 3 (continued). Review of practical implementation, including measurement, of core indicators for entity reporting on the contribution towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals
Consideration of outcome of agenda item 3
At its 4th session in 2021, ISAR Honours received 40 nominations from 23 different countries. Since its first pilot edition in 2018, ISAR Honours has been progressing and the number of initiatives received has doubled. The increasing interest towards ISAR Honours proves organizations’ commitment and efforts on enhancing the quality and comparability of companies’ reporting on their contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its usefulness for monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNCTAD announced recipients of the ISAR Honours 2021 at the 7th World Investment Forum on 19 October 2021. From the policy, institutional or capacity-building initiatives received this year the Review Committee has selected the top three national and international honourees. Additionally, a special nomination was proposed by UNCTAD at the national and international levels.
Nominations were submitted by private and public organizations of all sizes with a balanced representation of developed, developing countries, and economies in transition.
“The UNCTAD secretariat would like to express appreciation to entities that took time and effort to provide their applications. We hope that the ISAR Honours becomes a useful means for Member States and other stakeholders for identifying, collecting, sharing and promoting good practices on enterprise reporting on sustainability and SDG issues from around the world. The results of the project will also help to develop case studies on good practices; enhance stakeholder dialogue; and facilitate reporting by countries on the private sector contribution to the SDG implementation.” said James Zhan, UNCTAD’s investment and enterprise director, at the virtual awards ceremony.
3 Honourees have been recognized for the International Category:
✓ World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
For the initiative “Assurance Internal Control”
✓ Value Balancing Alliance
For the initiative “VBA Impact Statement and Integrated Accounts”
✓ OECD Centre For Responsible Business Conduct
For the initiative “Understanding and measuring environmental and social impacts of business in global supply chains and the transboundary effects on the SDGs”
3 Honourees have been recognized for the National Category:
✓ FSR – Danish Auditors, Denmark
For the initiative “Partnering for Improved Sustainability Reporting Practice”
✓ Institute of Certified Public Accountants (ICPAR &ICPAK), Rwanda and Kenya
For the initiative “Financial Reporting Awards (FiReAwards)”
✓ The Southern African Institute For Business Accountants , South Africa
For the initiative “GCI Capacity Building for SMEs”
UNCTAD also gave special recognition to 2 additional initiatives, for national and international category respectively:
✓ FBN- The Family Business Network International
For the initiative” Family Business for Sustainable Development”
✓ Malaysian Sustainable Finance Initiative, Malaysia
For the initiative “MSFI”
More information on applicants and initiatives can be found in the 2021 ISAR Honours Brochure.
This project intends to strengthen the capacities of Governments to measure and monitor the private sector contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular on target 12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
Company reporting on the 2030 Agenda is a complex issue that requires addressing a number of challenges, which may be grouped in two levels. There are issues related to the harmonization and consistency of financial information with sustainability reporting in general, and further issues with regard to aligning sustainability reporting with the SDGs monitoring framework and its indicators. However, many countries lack the institutional and technical capacity to adapt their corporate reporting environments to the new demands spurred by the 2030 Agenda and effectively assess the private sector contribution towards attaining the SDGs.
In this context, the project’s goals are to:
- Develop and implement a mechanism to coordinate efforts among different national authorities in establishing a sustainability reporting framework.
- Help companies prepare and publish useful sustainability reports within that framework.
- Support Governments in the collection of comparable and reliable information on companies’ contribution towards the SDG implementation aligned with the global framework of SDG indicators.
At the heart of this mechanism is the integration of financial and non-financial information as part of companies’ reporting cycles.
The project will improve quality and facilitate international comparability of sustainability reporting, as well as enable multiple authorities within Governments to articulate, collaborate, and better assess the private sector contribution towards attaining the SDGs. Ultimately, the project will enhance the SDG monitoring mechanism.