Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility (CR) reporting is an increasingly important source of information for both management and external stakeholders, whether as a separate CR report, a report to a rating agency (such as CDP) or integrated into corporate annual reporting. Increasingly, companies are also reporting on performance against strategic CR goals and targets, including commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). External stakeholders such as investors, customers, business partners, government, (future) employees and NGOs seek trustworthy information on CR performance in a range of areas, from GHG emissions and water management to diversity and community engagement, on which to base their decisions.
Independent third party assurance adds value externally, through a public Independent Assurance Statement, and internally by raising confidence in external disclosures and helping to ensure that strategic management decisions are based on reliable information. The scope of each corporate assurance engagement varies according to internal and external needs, for example:
- Performance data for KPIs for environment, health, safety, human resources, social and community, supply chain, etc.
- GHG data for reports, CDP, RobecoSAM/DJSI, baselines for science based targets, etc.
- Annual performance against corporate goals and targets, including SDGs and climate change
- Information on stakeholder engagement, materiality processes, management approach or case studies
- A whole sustainability or CR report e.g. against criteria such as the GRI Standards or AccountAbility Principles
- Sustainability information in a combined or integrated Annual Report
- Assurance against sector reporting requirements such as IPIECA, ICMM, CSI
- Claims regarding ‘low carbon’ or ‘carbon neutral’ for operations, products or services
Our corporate assurance services are based on internationally recognized standards ISAE3000/3410, ISO 14064:3 and AA1000AS. These services, where appropriate, can be combined with other ERM CVS services such as regulatory GHG verification (EUETS) and ISO certification. Credibility, technical competence, quality and efficiency are key considerations for our clients and their stakeholders, and are embedded in our corporate assurance services, including:
- Consistent high quality, led by highly knowledgeable and experienced assurance professionals
- Teams which combine expertise in CR reporting and assurance processes with technical and sector knowledge
- A single point of contact – with a Project Manager sensitive to clients’ needs and deadlines
- An iterative approach – providing feedback at each stage to avoid ‘last minute’ surprises
- Access to ERM’s global resource base of sustainability expertise
We also offer pre-assurance / readiness assessments for those organizations that are considering external assurance but are unsure whether their systems and processes are ready for this step. Pre-assurance can lead directly to external assurance or be combined with third party assurance on other (more reliable) information in one project.
AWS: ERM CVS also has interim accreditation (for Europe, Africa and Americas) as a conformity assessment body (CAB) for the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS). See our brochure or contact us for more details of this service.