Answering your ESG Exchange questions

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Is ESG reporting likely to be mandatory for Private entities and if so, when do we see this happening?

  • The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), operating under the IFRS Foundation, is developing standards to be used in conjunction with the existing International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) standards with which the world is. Currently private companies in 144 countries around the world report using these International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and its stands to reason then that, following the publication and adoption of the ISSB standards, they will be required to include this sustainability information (“ESG report”) in their annual reports.
  • Entities that do not include this information will not be providing their stakeholders with a comprehensive view of the sustainability of their entity. Providers of capital, such as banks and clients, may increase the cost of their capital to include a risk premium to cater for the uncertainty this missing information presents.
  • These standards are expected to be in place over the next 3 to 4 years.

Is a 3-year implementation programme a must to publish robust ESG / sustainability reports?

  • Unlike reformatting existing reports to cater for the changing reporting demands, sustainability reports, in the vast majority, require information that currently does not exist in the organization. In addition, sustainability reports will be expected to be assurable and comparable and therefore require the same level of rigor as is currently applied to the organization’s financial information. Most organizations are not prepared for such new requirements. We believe that it will take a minimum of 3 years, from start to publication, for organizations to be able to meet the changing market demands.
  • Early publishers of assurable sustainability reports, using accepted international standards, will have an advantage over others as they will have the management system, capabilities and competencies in place to rapidly respond to the changing economic, environmental and social demands of organizations. They will also be able to provide their stakeholders with increased certainty in their investment decisions.
  • Private companies may find it easier to implement a sustainability reporting framework more quickly, especially if shares are closely held (consultation is much easier and faster).

What will be done over the 3 years? Will it involve repeatedly studying and implementing?

  • The three-year implementation programme is broken into five modules. These modules are focussed on implementing specific aspects of a sustainability reporting management system, organizational competencies and operational capabilities. Each module builds on the previous modules such that at the end of the programme, the organization is effectively equipped to publish assurable sustainability reports according to any of the international standards adopted by the organization.
  • Each module involves a quarterly learning and implementation cadence (rhythm): Month 1 – 2-hour online plenary with engagement on important content; Month 2 – 90 min online regional roundtable discussing case studies of applicable implementation successes and failures; Month 3 – 90 minute Lab / masterclass for each organizational area (board, executive, finance and assurance, operations and stakeholder relations) where templates and implementation guidance is provided.

This will need board buy-in, so how do executives address board resistence?

  • We believe that the board or the governing body still needs to take a leading role and demonstrate their accountability to the organization in this way. The How-To Playbook is specifically tailored for each organizational role to ensure that bridges are built between the organizational silos and an integrated approach across the organization results. 
  • A common misunderstanding is that the executive needs to lead. In fact (actually, in law, in most common law countries!), accountability for enduring business performance of the company lies with the board. Directors need to build their knowledge and engage more actively, to ensure the purpose of the company is determined and agreed, and that a coherent corporate strategy is developed having taken into account relevant externalities and contextual factors. Boards who delegate such tasks to management, or ignore them, are at risk of being accused of failing in their duties.
  • A consequence of these observations is the need for increased board engagement in strategic matters. Directors uncomfortable with committing one week per board per month to keep up to date and contribute well may need to review their involvement as a director.

How do I join?

The ESG Exchange is a provided as a 5 Module Implementation Programme which runs over three years – the How-To Playbook for sustainability reporting. Each Module can be purchased separately but when the How-To Playbook is purchased as a whole a discount is applied.

  • We recommend that the five organizational roles participate – in a large organization, this may mean that 5 or more individuals participate and in a small organization, where one person is responsible for more than one role, this can mean that 2 or 3 individuals participate.
  • If you would like to participate, you can contact us here.
  • The ESG Exchange works with regional partners to ensure that subscribers can engage the ESG Exchange in their own language, laws and currency
  • The JSE Training Academy is our South African regional partner. See more here.
  • The ESG Exchange is primarily provided in English although content will be translated based on the level of demand
  • Special rates are available for those registering for the September 2022 intake

ESG Exchange gifts and discounts

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Gifting a person or an organization the opportunity to improve their sustainability practices cannot be underestimated and will set them up to face the challenges of the 21st Century:

  • Purchase a subscription as a gift for someone else
  • Pay a portion of a subscription on behalf of someone else
  • Get in touch with us here.

How can I collaborate?

What is a regional partner?

  • A regional partner is contracted with the ESG Exchange to market and sell the ESG Exchange services in a particular country
  • Regional partners are not exclusive arrangements
  • Although the ESG Exchange services are provided directly by the ESG Exchange to subscribers,
  • Regional partners can make use of resellers to assist them in their sales efforts, but they will first be vetted by the ESG Exchange
  • If you would like to become a regional partner, contact the ESG Exchange at or via the website

The ESG Exchange welcomes sponsorships in several categories:

  • Global: Your impact will be seen and felt across all the ESG Exchange’s services and regions of operation
  • Regional: Your impact will be limited to your specific region of choice
  • Technical: Your impact will be focussed on a specific role (e.g. Directors or IT professionals) or a specific ESG exchange activity


  • Sponsor discounts for your clients or offer subscriptions to the ESG Exchange
  • Bundle the whole or portion of a subscription to the ESG Exchange as part of your product


  • Sponsorships are tiered and tailored to the outcomes the sponsor intends to achieve.
  • Sponsors are vetted to ensure that their values align with those of the ESG Exchange.
  • The ESG Exchange reserves the right to decline sponsorship applications at its discretion

Can I trust the ESG Exchange?

The Good Governance Academy has established a governance framework to ensure that the ESG Exchange operates according to its values and achieves its purpose. These include, the:

  • Governing Council: An independent, broadly representative governance structure comprising of global experts and promoters of effective sustainability reporting
  • Advisory Committee: Representatives from broad ESG and sustainability stakeholder groups
  • Technical Committee: Overseen by the Advisory Committee, it is responsible for souring, curating and maintaining the content, programmes and guidance provided by the ESG Exchange

Governing Council

  • Global experts and promoters of effective sustainability reporting
  • Joining in their personal capacities

Advisory Committee

Membership of the Advisory Committee is made up pf a broad range of representatives from:

  • International standard setters, including the GRI and the International Sustainability Standards Board
  • Global associations such as the International Federation of Accountants
  • Professional bodies such as Directors institutes and accounting bodies
  • Practitioner and specialist organizations such as SHIFT
  • Corporates experienced in sustainability reporting, for example ABN Amro
  • Educators such as universities, business schools and their associations

Technical Committee

  • The Advisory Committee guides the appointment of members to the Technical Committee
  • The Technical Committee is operated on the principles of consensus building and IP protection
  • The Technical Committee establishes Working Groups to address specific subject areas
  • Technical experts can join these Working Groups independently

How can I join the Advisory Committee?

Apply to become a member of the Advisory Committee here. Benefits of being a member include:

  • Good will: demonstrating your collaboration for the greater good
  • Participation: recognition of contribution to the collaborative efforts
  • Brand recognition: ability to contributed branded, IP protected, thought leading content
  • New markets: Leveraging the global presence to make the organization’s purpose and services broadly recognized

How can I join the Technical Committee?

Apply to become a member of the Technical Committee here

Want to know more?

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The ESG Exchange is an initiative of the Good Governance Academy

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