Sustainability Counts II

6 June 2023 | State of sustainability reporting in Asia Pacific

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


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


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Sustainability Counts II

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Sustainability Counts 2022

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Yuliana Sudjonno

Partner, ESG Leader
PwC Indonesia

Julian Smith

PwC Indonesia

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