Third-party assurance of sustainability reports
In recent years, the attention of the market and the policymakers to the issues of sustainable development has led more and more organisations to implement systems to monitor their social and environmental performance and to report them externally.
GRI’s holistic approach helps organisations to monitor and report on their own efforts in material topics these are economic, environmental or social aspects. GRI reporting demonstrates to consumers, governments, stakeholders and civil society that a business is committed to social responsibility.
In order to standardise the processes and contents of sustainability reporting, international working groups have developed guidelines for the preparation and of these reports. Among the best known are GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and AA 1000 (Accountability). GRI is the most widely used guideline for producing these sustainability assessment reports.
Alongside the growing number of organisations producing sustainability reports, there is also an increasing demand for external audits of the reports themselves, by independent third-party auditors. GRI recommends an independent evaluation of the sustainability reports prepared by organisations. The verification of sustainability reports aims to assure stakeholders of the truthfulness of the information reported.
If an organisation is using GRI standards to assess their sustainability report, the report verification by an independent third party provides multiple benefits:
TÜV SÜD supports companies as an independent third-party verifier of sustainability reports. Our auditors have the most appropriate skills for evaluation of your reports.
Verification of reports are carried out from the 'core' to the 'comprehensive' level, according to GRI principles as well as according to AA1000 guidelines.
With reference to the main international verification standards (e.g. AA 1000AS) and guidelines for the drafting of sustainability reports (GRI; AA1000), TÜV SÜD has created its own verification methodology to ensure the highest level of compliance.
At the beginning of each engagement, TÜV SÜD conducts workshops with the client organisation's sustainability audit team to understand how they conducted the assessment. TÜV SÜD interacts with the management and the operating staff of the organisation. The verification process is divided in several phases which includes review of data and documentation as per GRI guidelines. We then review the report, to verify whether it correctly meets all GRI indicators and contains true and accurate information. At the end of the process, an Assurance Report is issued. If any problems are discovered, TÜV SÜD alerts the client organisation so they can remediate the issue before publishing the report.
For more information about GRI reporting verification, or to find out how to access this service, please contact us today.
Affirm your commitment to social accountability in the workplace
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