Mandatory recurring financial and non-financial sustainability reporting for companies around the world is imminent, and guidelines, such as those for JSE listed companies, have already been published. This is wholly new territory for most corporate C-suites and boards and on the front line for this task will be companies’ reporting officers. Most aren’t prepared. As a leader of a listed, private or non-profit company, you have a responsibility to ensure that you and your staff understand and are prepared to meet the impending global sustainability reporting requirements.
Bruce Whitfield hosts this interactive one-hour engagement with an expert panel. Watch the video to obtain an understanding of what corporate competencies are required to publish assurable sustainability reports according to the JSE guidance, emerging international standards, and developing stakeholder requirements.
Questions from the audience and answers from the panellists
What kind of qualifications or studies can a chartered accountant pursue to advance their knowledge in the sustainability and the ESG space?
What are your views on Taxonomy?
I enjoyed Peter Crow’s comments on director’s duties regarding ESG. What does ‘good look like’ in terms of directors’ fiduciary duties to obtain success in terms of people, planet & profit (prosperity)?
Is a framework available for private company boards to assist with this way of thinking or with matters to consider?
What do you believe are the short-term and long-term effects on organisations for boards that neglect / refuse to implement?
I fully agree with Peter, there should be an intersection between sustainability and viability / feasibility. This is where we see success in real sustainability.
I believe that quality ESG reporting is especially important for State Owned Entities as it will provide a basis for enabling a better understanding of the economic activities, and impacts, in the country. Would it not be advantageous to have a principle-based standard for public companies (setting out the methods for identifying what needs to be reported, materiality, etc.)? Could this “public sector” standard then be narrowed down for private companies in the same geographic area?
The global targets for sustainable development are necessarily ambitious and we are far behind in meeting them – particularly in the private sector. How do we support the ESG movement to move beyond simply meeting mandatory reporting to meeting targets when we are still dealing with so much greenwashing? Does this require government intervention?
How does this link with the alternate GDP measures that are being considered in government reporting?
My sense from listening to the panel is that companies need to decide what its critical ESG outcomes are, based on a defined materiality level, and then processes should be embedded into the organisation beyond the just finance department but in the business units themselves where the ESG impact is generated and then collated using IT to report and assure etc. Would my understanding be correct?
What are companies doing, or can they do, to fast-track the induction of existing organizational roles so that they are up to speed?
How will the implementation of sustainability reporting influence those companies reporting under IFRS for SMEs (Small and Medium Entities)?
Were the panel members surprised at the opposition to including the new mandatory TCFD reporting framework within the Resilience Statement (from the White Paper on Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance in the UK)?
Supporting notes and links
As a presenter, speaker and author, he interprets the noise at the murky intersection where business, politics and society collide. He has the extraordinary ability to bring clarity and transform the way we see the world. This fresh perspective shines a light on how we can fix the future.
Bruce is an award-winning journalist whose daily Money Show each weeknight on 702 and CapeTalk is compulsory listening for anyone who wants to better understand the world of money and business amidst the noise and clutter of a confusing world. He has hosted numerous TV programs, is a Contributing Editor to the Financial Mail and is a foreign correspondent to multiple international news providers.
His latest project, Genius: How to Take Smart Ideas Global, examines what it takes to thrive in an increasingly complex, fast-paced, divisive global environment. These are lessons for anyone looking to succeed anywhere against the odds.
His bestselling, first book, “The Upside of Down”, focuses on how chaos and uncertainty breed opportunity. Using examples, backed up with the facts, and his signature brand of optimistic realism, he shows how current times are not the most challenging in history but actually a time of incredible opportunity.
Bruce is a well-known broadcaster, best-selling author and sought-after business speaker. He has shared stages and digital platforms with the likes of Bill & Hillary Clinton, Nouriel Roubini Charlize Theron, Lord Mervyn King and hundreds of business and political luminaries and personalities. He is as comfortable on a stage as he is on camera or behind the microphone. He is insatiably curious and constantly builds his understanding of the world in a way that helps him help audiences make sense of it too.
Joanne is an accomplished sustainability and related services executive with 25 years’ experience working across corporate reporting, regulation and standards, sustainability strategy, and performance and impact reporting in southern Africa, New Zealand and the United States.
Joanne leads organisations and corporate reporters strategically to elevate the quality of non-financial performance and impact reporting, including specialism in integration of ESG strategy and reporting.
A Chartered Accountant with extensive experience spanning the business, government and education sectors, she has a sound foundation as a thought leader in governance, reporting and assurance.
Prior to joining EY, Joanne held an executive role in regulation, policy and standards, focused on influencing policy makers and standard setters towards achieving better regulation outcomes in New Zealand.
Joanne’s driving purpose is to help individuals and organisations focus on sustainable development impact: economic, environmental and social. Increasingly, assessments of what “value” means are re-focusing on long-term value creation capability, recognising that building prosperous communities and economies and a healthy environment must necessarily harness a wider, more holistic value equation for decision-making about how resources are applied. This long-term value lens is the foundation for driving long-term prosperity, and a better working world.
Member of the Advisory Committee
Shameela has recently taken the position of Chief Executive Officer of teh National Business Initiative. Prior to takein this position, Shameela was Chief Sustainability Officer of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, chair of the World Federation of
Exchange’s (global) Sustainability Working Group and member of the Strategy Group of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance.
She joined the JSE in 2007 and has also served as Senior Manager: Group Strategy where she was responsible for advising the Executive Committee and Board of the JSE Limited on corporate strategy. She sees strategy and sustainability as inextricably linked to each other.
Her responsibilities at the JSE included all aspects of sustainability including management of the FTSE JSE Responsible Investment Index series. She represented the JSE on various industry advisory panels locally and globally related to sustainability, responsible investing and climate change. As a sustainability specialist she had been a key contributor to the JSE’s research into climate change, the potential for a local market to trade in carbon credits and environment-related products, the development of the sustainability segment of the JSE and the Green Bonds framework,
impact investing, the JSE’s sustainability, innovation and CSI strategies as well as the annual sustainability investor briefing sessions.
Shameela is a trustee of the WWF (South Africa) and served on the board of Directors as a non-executive director until November 2016, and is the board chairperson of the Ubuntu Wilderness Trust. Her previous experience includes senior roles in the banking and insurance industries.
Shameela completed the Master’s Programme in Sustainability Leadership (MSt) at the University of Cambridge and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Pretoria, Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). She is a recipient of the Chevening and Mansion House scholarships, and is a member of the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa.
Chief Executive Officer of The ESG Exchange
Carolynn has spent the last 20 years assisting leaders and leadership teams to understand and apply governance principles and generate value for their organizations. She uses of her expertise and experience in corporate governance, organizational strategy, Digital Transformation and systems thinking to do so.
Carolynn has extensive management and governance experience and has held various Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Board, Board Committee and Executive roles for international, listed, private and public organizations. This spans many industries, including financial services, health, energy, construction, education, tourism, media, non-profit and the public sector.
Carolynn is co-editor of the ISO standard for the governance of organizations (ISO 37000), co-convenor of the Governance Maturity Technical Committee (ISO 37004) and Chairperson of the associated South African Bureau of Standards mirror committee, TC309, where she also represents South Africa’s King Committee.
Carolynn is well known for her successes in designing and leading large, complex strategy and organizational transformation implementations – she attributes this success to the application of effective governance principles.
Carolynn has received numerous national and international accolades for public speaking.
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