Home Sustainability Solutions The "Big Five" of Sustainability Reporting

The sustainability reporting "big five"

Who sets standards in the field of sustainability reporting? The following knowledge article addresses this question. It presents five different institutions and names other organizations that play a role in sustainability reporting.

Table of contents

What are the Big Five in Sustainability Reporting?

To date, there are no existing generally applicable, official regulations and standards for sustainability reporting. Nevertheless, there are already frameworks that enable uniform reporting and auditing.

Here are the five fleadingn institutions to create a framework for sustainability:

1. CDP: Carbon Disclosure Project 

The Carbon Disclosure Project aims to ensure that companies make their environmental data (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption) publicly available. To this end, the information is compiled in annual reporting, on the basis of which the companies can then be evaluated. It also includes progress and activity related to climate change. CDP is currently active in around 60 countries.

2. CDSB: Climate Disclosure Standards Board 

The CDSB is a coalition of companies and NGOs addressing how existing standards and practices can be used to link financial and climate change-related information. To do this, it provides a framework for reporting environmental information, natural capital, and related business impacts. In doing so, it places natural capital on an equal footing with the financial chapter.

3. GRI: Global Reporting Initiative

The GRI standards developed by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) in 2000 are the first global standards for sustainability reporting. The standards aim to holistically evaluate the environmental impacts of companies. Today, the GRI framework is the most widely used reporting framework in more than 90 countries. 

4. IIRC: International Integrated Reporting Council

An integrated report is a concise communication of how a company's strategy, governance, performance and prospects lead to value creation in the short, medium and long term. The IIRC publishes such integrated reports, and its standard helps ensure that the company is viewed holistically by incorporating the entire value chain into the report. This can, for example, make a company's decision-making more long-term, thus contributing to sustainability.

5 SASB: Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

Since 2011, SASB has been developing standards for sustainability reporting that are managed on an industry-specific basis. SASB seeks to facilitate communication between companies and their stakeholders by publishing reports that are relevant, reliable and comparable on a global basis. It is particularly concerned with financially relevant sustainability information, which should incorporate social, economic and environmental aspects. 


big five sustainability reporting

Sidekicks of Sustainability Reporting

There are still some alternative instances that play a role in the creation of the regulations.

These include:

  • TCFD (Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures)
  • GHG (Greenhouse Gas Protocols)
  • Science Based Targets Initiative
  • WEF Integrated Corporate Governance
  • WRI (Water Risk Atlas)
  • Dodd-Frank Act
  • US SEC Regulations
  • Financial institutions (e.g. IAS, US GAAP)
Know more?

Would you like to delve deeper into this topic? Then we look forward to a personal exchange on the topic of sustainability reporting. Simply get in touch with us!

More information on the topic of sustainability can also be found in other Wiki articles.

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Christiane Kalfass-sPeers Mood Print-150
Recruiting & Marketing Specialist
Published by:
Daniel Pellegrini
Daniel Pellegrini
SAP Analytics consultant

    Published by:

    Dea Marovic

    Former Lead Sustainability & Professional Analytics Consultant


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