Sustainability Counts II

Updated 19 July 2023 | State of sustainability reporting in Asia Pacific

Understanding sustainability reporting requirements globally and across Asia Pacific, and insights on the journey to date.

Overview

While the world continues to battle the pressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues at hand, there has been an increasing call for the “harmonisation” of sustainability reporting standards for enhanced transparency from investors, regulators and other stakeholders.

PwC's second edition of the Sustainability Counts report provides our analysis of the study conducted with National University of Singapore Centre for Governance and Sustainability on the state of sustainability reporting landscape in Asia Pacific and salient trends on the adoption and implementation of various sustainability reporting frameworks and standards.

Scope of study

  • Focuses on the top 50-listed companies by market capitalisation across 14 jurisdictions in Asia Pacific, namely: Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • A total of 700 listed companies were studied spanning 11 industries.
  • Analysed against common sustainability reporting attributes based on the principles of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Global sustainability reporting and assurance developments

  • There has been considerable progress in the sustainability reporting landscape in 2023 which includes the developments of the “big three” proposals – the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive in Europe, the international sustainability disclosure standards by the International Sustainability Standards Board and the climate proposal by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Assurance of sustainability has become increasingly important in today’s world where many stakeholders place more emphasis on the companies’ sustainability information. Assurance helps to build confidence and trust in the sustainability information provided to stakeholders.
  • In Asia Pacific, there has been a growing focus on sustainability reporting by regulators across the region. There is also an increasing use of the TCFD for climate reporting.

Insights on the state of sustainability reporting in Asia Pacific

  • Sustainability external assurance remains poor across Asia Pacific with the exception of South Korea and Taiwan. There are also very few reporters that seek reasonable assurance and internal assurance as well.
  • With 81% of companies studied adopting the GRI framework, it continues to be the dominant sustainability reporting standard in the region. The focus is now on how respective jurisdictions will adopt/prepare for the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), or prepare for Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) requirements. There is a 21% increase in use of the TCFD framework including disclosures of climate-related risk and opportunities to 88% by 2022. 89% of companies have also carried out climate scenario analysis.
  • With 80% of companies studied disclosing their emissions, measurement of Scope 1 and 2 emissions is reaching maturity. Besides Japan, most companies across the region will need to place an added effort for better transparency and accuracy of the measurement of their Scope 3 emissions.

Addressing ESG reporting challenges

  • Understanding your company’s purpose, wider ESG strategy and reporting aspirations, and their interconnectivity is a good starting point to achieve a balanced and comprehensive reporting.
  • Good quality data is imperative to present the information in a useful way to decision makers. Collecting and verifying information is hard, so companies need to think about systems not just reports.
  • The integration of ESG into business strategy, risk management processes and performance measurement through better reporting can bring cost savings and generate long-term value creation.

Analysis of sustainability reporting by territory, 2022

Chart:
Territory:

PwC would like to acknowledge The Centre for Governance and Sustainability (CGS) National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School and the following people for their contribution to this report.

Lead Author

Professor Lawrence Loh
Director, Centre for Governance and Sustainability (CGS)
NUS Business School
National University of Singapore


CGS Research Project Team

Huang Minjun
Research Associate
CGS, NUS Business School
National University of Singapore
 

Sharmine Tan
Sustainability Lead
CGS, NUS Business School
National University of Singapore

Soon Wan Yi, Sabrina
Research Associate
CGS, NUS Business School
National University of Singapore

Verity Thoi
Business Development Lead
CGS, NUS Business School
National University of Singapore

Download the full publication: Sustainability Counts II

Updated 19 July 2023 | State of sustainability reporting in Asia Pacific. Understanding sustainability reporting requirements globally and across Asia Pacific, and insights on the journey to date.

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Sustainability Counts 2022

Lead author

Fang Eu-Lin

ESG Leaders, Partner, Sustainability and Climate Change Practice Leader, PwC Singapore

+65 9817 8213

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Authors and CGS Research Project Team

Lim Lay Hsaih

Senior Manager, Assurance, PwC Singapore

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Indrie Tjahjadi

Senior Manager, Assurance, PwC Singapore

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ESG leaders

Fang Eu-Lin

ESG Leaders, Partner, Sustainability and Climate Change Practice Leader, PwC Singapore

+65 9817 8213

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Ivy Kuo

PwC Asia Pacific Sustainability Leader, Partner, PwC China

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Jon Chadwick

Energy Transition, Partner, PwC Australia

+61 3 8603 3153

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Amy Cai

Partner, ESG Managing Partner, PwC China

+86 (21) 2323 3698

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Sambitosh Mohapatra

Partner, ESG Leader, PwC India

+91 124 330 6008

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Yuliana Sudjonno

ESG Lead, PwC Indonesia

+62 21 509 92901

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Julian Smith

Global transportation & logistics leader, Greater Jakarta

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Toshiya Banno

Partner, ESG Centre of Excellence Leader, PwC Japan

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Yuki Isogai

Partner, ESG Centre of Excellence Technical Leader, PwC Japan

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Steven C. Kang

Partner, PwC South Korea

+82 2 709 4788

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Andrew Chan

Asia Pacific ESG Strategy & Transformation Leader, Malaysia, PwC Malaysia

+65 9753 6736

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Annabell Chartres

Asia Pacific Sustainability, Clients & Markets Partner, PwC New Zealand

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Alexander Cabrera

Partner, ESG Leader, PwC Philippines

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Parul Munshi

Workforce Transformation and Regional Sustainability Consulting Leader, South East Asia Consulting, PwC Singapore

+65 9660 5011

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Eliza Li

Leader of Sustainability and Climate Change Services, Taiwan, PwC Taiwan

+886(02)2729 6685

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Kulawal Supesuntorn

ESG Leader, Thailand, PwC Thailand

+66 (0) 2844 1000 Ext. 2202

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Chris Suradejvibul

Partner, ESG Leader, PwC Thailand

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Dinh Thi Quynh Van

Senior Partner, PwC Vietnam

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Nguyen Hoang Nam

Partner, ESG Leader, PwC Vietnam

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