PwC on Sustainability

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July 2014

Bridging the Value Gap: How the sustainability and finance functions can work together to improve data quality and corporate reporting information

On July 16 in New York, PwC moderated a panel at a Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) event to explore how sustainability, finance, internal audit, and risk management can work together, create a cross-functional team and drive value for the business. As pressure from investors and other stakeholders to improve the quality of corporate reporting and incorporate non-financial metrics into financial reporting mounts, sustainability and finance organizations find themselves with a sense of shared purpose. There’s a real opportunity to improve external communications with investors and other stakeholders about how the business is creating value. Still not convinced? Ask yourself, and your colleagues from other departments, the following questions:

  • Is there internal alignment on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues that will bring about long-term value, or is there buy-in on a process to identify those matters?
  • Can you distinguish your ESG, financial reporting and ERM processes? How are they integrated?
  • How do your current ESG materiality assessments compare to materiality as defined for financial reporting purposes? Are they aligned?

Improved corporate reporting is a goal that merits better cooperation between sustainability and finance functions in the interest of delivering greater benefits to business as a whole and ultimately to investors. What’s up for grabs? The panel mentioned several benefits, including improved risk management that encompasses social and environmental concerns, enhanced data quality for making decisions, and more robust reporting that better satisfies investor needs.

Read more about what integrated reporting and the SASB standards may mean for your business.


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