The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has drafted the International Standard on Sustainability Assurance 5000 (ISSA 5000), General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements (ISSA) and it is now holding a consultation on these proposed standards until 1 December 2023.
We call on the IAASB to:
1. Adopt the widely accepted United Nations definition of sustainability
2. Have wider but qualified scopes rather than narrower but non-qualified scopes*
3. Clarify a ‘rational purpose’ in the context of sustainability*
4. Require appropriate skills, knowledge and experience of assurance practitioners
5. Consider the processes by which the people who experience impacts were involved in identifying, quantifying and valuing impacts
6. Cover assurance issues relating to sustainability performance and trade-offs in decision making.
Our shared view is that, in an attempt to be an overarching assurance standard for various existing sustainability frameworks, the ISSA allows for sustainability assurance that excludes impacts to people and planet. We do not believe this is in the public interest or that it will adequately combat ‘green / impact washing’.
If you agree with our recommendations and would like to contribute to the IAASB consultation, we invite you to use the Capitals Coalition and Social Value International recommendations as the basis for your own response.
- You can submit a full response to the consultation here.
- You can also take a shorter survey that doesn’t require you to read all of the consultation documents. Find out more here.
We invite you to view this recording of the webinar held with Social Value International and Capitals Coalition members to inform our response to the IAASB Consultation.
Read the summary of recommendations here.
Read the response in full here.
*A qualified scope is intended to avoid ‘cherry-picking’ when reporting sustainability topics.
*Under the sustainability lenses, a rational purpose does not accept negative impacts on people’s wellbeing.