Richard Howitt of the International Integrated Reporting Council on today’s launch of an important new phase towards harmonising the ‘alphabet’s soup’ of corporate sustainability reporting standards
Business knows it has to change to survive. The concept of “business as usual” has become redundant.
It is now commonplace in business circles to hear dire warnings about how artificial intelligence will disrupt today’s business models, how the contract between business and society is breaking down, and how climate change adaptation will strand not simply fossil fuel assets, but whole swathes of industries dependent upon them.
Of course, there is no single answer to these challenges. But the global coalition of leaders from business, investment and regulation who came together at the start of the decade to form the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) did so believing it was possible to enable businesses to move to a longer-term and inter-connected approach, which would ultimately sustain the continuing role of business to create value.
There is a widespread perception that a proliferation of different, conflicting frameworks holds business back from reforming reporting
The reform of business reporting to focus on the goal of long-term value creation – integrated reporting – was and is seen as a key tool to achieve this.
Earlier this year, all of the “breakthrough tests” set by the IIRC Council were evaluated as being met, presaging the announcement of a new strategic phase towards the global adoption of integrated reporting: the momentum phase.
But there remains one recurring impediment. While there is a clear understanding in the market that reforming reporting can be a key driver of change, there is also a widespread perception that a proliferation of different, conflicting reporting frameworks holds business back from being able to do so.
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