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iCompli Sustainability Reporting Assurance Services

As the Sustainability movement takes hold around the world, more and more companies are incorporating the practice of Sustainability into their business thinking and processes. According to a survey conducted by Accenture and the UN Global Compact, “strengthening brand trust and reputation is the strongest motivator for taking action on sustainability issues.” Companies are seeing evidence that a robust Sustainability initiative can lead to: increased revenues; lower costs, less risk, improved reputation, product and service innovation, and stronger corporate governance. In short, Sustainability can be a means to achieve competitive advantage.

As Sustainability becomes increasingly embedded into organizations, there has been a corresponding rise in the number of companies issuing reports on their sustainability activities. Leading companies from both the public and private sectors are not only issuing reports, but having them audited by an independent third party.

 

The iCompli 10-Step Assurance Process


Independent third-party assurance from iCompli is a focused, comprehensive process that assesses the reporting process and final product (the Report) in relation to the guiding principles of AccountAbility’s AA1000AS Assurance Standard – Inclusivity, Materiality, and Responsiveness.

  • Step 1: Client and Industry Research – We take the time to understand the client’s business and unique sustainability challenges.

  • Step 2:  Management Interviews -- The iCompli process involves working with persons responsible for collecting and collating reporting data, as well as those drafting the Report content;

  • Step 3:  Analysis & Assessment --  We analyze your most recent Sustainability/Integrated Annual Report against the Global Reporting Initiative’s 127 performance indicators and prepare an  interim management report;

  • Step 4:  Materiality review – Materiality is determined through a comprehensive, confidential, on-site review of information and Board and Committee packets circulated through the reporting period. This internal materiality scan is supplemented by review of the company's stakeholder external communications such as media/blog analysis and a verification of message alignment between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ story.

  • Step 5:  Principles exploration -- Following the materiality assessment, we conduct a detailed exploration of each of the three AccountAbility AA1000 APS principles – Inclusivity, Materiality and Responsiveness.  This typically involves a series of interviews with individuals directly connected to the reporting process, including stakeholder engagement and materiality.

  • Step 6:  Report review – Based upon the materiality scan, we review the initial draft of the Report to confirm that material issues are addressed.

  • Step 7:  Preliminary GRI Level Assessment – We then conduct a GRI Application Level assessment of the draft Report to determine where gaps exist between what is currently being reported and what is required in order to meet your GRI Application Level objective.

  • Step 8:  Draft Party Assurance Statement – We prepare a draft Third Party Assurance Statement for review by your internal team.

  • Step 9: Final GRI Level Assessment -- Before going to print, we perform a final GRI Application Level assessment of the ‘Editor’s Proof’ to confirm that what is being reported meets your GRI Application Level objective.  

  • Step 10:  Final Assurance Statement – The process concludes with the issuance of a final Assurance Statement to be included in the Report.

 

The widely-used GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework strongly encourages independent third-party assurance.

GRI has identified six key qualities for the external assurance of reports. 

External assurance:

  • Should be conducted by groups or individuals external to the reporting organization, who are demonstrably competent in the subject matter and assurance practices

  • Should utilize groups or individuals who are not unduly limited by their relationship with the organization or its stakeholders to reach and publish an independent and impartial conclusion on the report

  • Is implemented in a manner that is systematic, documented, evidence-based, and characterized by defined procedures

  • Assesses whether the report provides a reasonable and balanced presentation of performance, taking into consideration the veracity of report data and the overall selection of content

  • Assesses the extent to which the report preparer has applied the GRI Reporting Framework (including the Reporting Principles

  • Results in an opinion or set of conclusions that is publicly available in written form, and a statement from the assurance provider on their relationship to the report preparer

 

Engagement Deliverables:

  1. A comprehensive gap analysis of your previous Annual or Integrated Annual Report; including specific recommendations for enhanced reporting.

  2. An evaluation of your “most material issues” based on a confidential desktop review of your Board and Committee materials, and relevant media articles.

  3. An evaluation of your adherence to AccountAbility’s principles of Inclusivity, Materiality, and Responsiveness.

  4. A detailed evaluation of your current Sustainability/Integrated Annual Report copy, including specific areas where improvement is required to fulfill your chosen GRI Application Level.

  5. An assurance statement for inclusion within your Sustainability/Integrated Annual Report.

  6. iCompli press release


iCompli Business Network

Corporate Register

IRAS (Integrated Reporting and Assurance Services) is a global sustainability consultancy that provides a broad range of assurance, advisory and training services. The firm’s highly-regarded annual research report on GRI reporting in South Africa is a best practice example of thought leadership in sustainability reporting.

ISO 2600

Leapfroghub is a one-stop consortium for Sustainability guidance, tools, templates and hands-on help. Leapfrog's team of experts have decades of experience in eco-audits, funding, planning, implementation, KPI verification, and marketing/communications.

Burns and Hammond

Burns & Hammond is an integrated CSR and sustainability consultancy focusing on strategy, systems and reporting utilizing the GRI framework. The firm has served clients for over 25 years in a wide range of industries, sectors, and communities.

 

Sustainability Reporting Resources

Corporate Register

CorporateRegister.com is home to the world's largest online directory of CR (corporate responsibility) Reports. Its online community of 36,000 registered users represents a global audience of highly informed stakeholders and CR report readers: corporate CR professionals, CR consultants, CR organizations, government authorities, investors, analysts, NGOs, charities, journalists, academics and students.

Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) produces a comprehensive Sustainability Reporting Framework that is widely used around the world, to enable greater organizational transparency. The Framework, including the Reporting Guidelines, sets out the Principles and Indicators organizations can use to report their economic, environmental, and social performance. GRI is committed to continuously improving and increasing the use of the Guidelines, which are freely available to the public.

ISO 2600

The International Standard ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on social responsibility, provides harmonized, globally relevant guidance for private and public sector organizations of all types based on international consensus among expert representatives of the main stakeholder groups, and so encourage the implementation of best practice in social responsibility worldwide.

AA1000 Standards

AccountAbility's AA1000 series are principles-based standards to help organisations become more accountable, responsible and sustainable. They address issues affecting governance, business models and organizational strategy, as well as providing operational guidance on sustainability assurance and stakeholder engagement.

 

 

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