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The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project

Published on 2nd August 2010

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced today the formation of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC).

The world has never faced greater challenges: over-consumption of finite natural resources, climate change, and the need to provide clean water, food and a better standard of living for a growing global population. Decisions taken in tackling these issues need to be based on clear and comprehensive information; but, as The Prince of Wales has said, we are at present “battling to meet 21st Century challenges with, at best, 20th Century decision making and reporting systems.”

The IIRC’s remit is to create a globally accepted framework for Accounting for Sustainability. A framework which brings together financial, environmental, social and governance information in a clear, concise, consistent and comparable format - put briefly, in an “integrated” format. The intention is to help with the development of more comprehensive and comprehensible information about an organization’s total performance, prospective as well as retrospective, to meet the needs of the emerging, more sustainable, global economic model.

The IIRC brings together a cross section of representatives from civil society and the corporate, accounting, securities, regulatory, NGO, IGO and standard-setting sectors. It comprises a Steering Committee and a Working Group. The Steering Committee is chaired by Sir Michael Peat, Principal Private Secretary to TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, with Professor Mervyn King, Chairman, King Committee on Corporate Governance and Chairman, Global Reporting Initiative, as Deputy Chairman. The Working Group has co-chairmen: Paul Druckman, A4S Executive Board Chairman, and Ian Ball, Chief Executive Officer, International Federation of Accountants. The role of the IIRC is to respond to the need for a concise, clear, consistent and comparable integrated reporting framework, reflecting the organization’s strategic objectives, governance and business model, and integrating both financial and non-financial information.

Every publicly listed company is required to file an annual report on its financial performance in compliance with, in most cases, either International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP). Increasingly companies are also producing, mostly on a voluntary basis, corporate social responsibility or sustainability reports but these can vary widely in terms of relevance and quality, largely because there is no global standard for measuring and reporting on environmental, social and governance performance.

“To make our economy sustainable we have to relearn everything we have learnt from the past. That means making more from less and ensuring that governance, strategy and sustainability are inseparable" said Professor Mervyn King, Chairman of the GRI. "Integrated Reporting builds on the practice of Financial Reporting, and Environmental, Social and Governance - or ESG - Reporting, and equips companies to strategically manage their operations, brand and reputation to stakeholders and be better prepared to manage any risk that may compromise the long-term sustainability of the business."

Sir David Tweedie, Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, said “The case for globally consistent financial reporting standards is well understood and accepted. It is appropriate to apply the same global approach to other aspects of corporate reporting. This initiative represents an important step on that journey.”

Ian Ball, CEO of the International Federation of Accountants said “The goal of the IIRC is not to increase the reporting burden on companies and other entities. Rather, it is to help them and all their stakeholders make better resource allocation decisions. All of us have a stake in a sustainable society. While integrated reporting alone cannot ensure sustainability it is a powerful mechanism to help us all make better decisions about the resources we consume and the lives we lead.”

Jane Diplock, Chairperson, Executive Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, said, “I believe we will look back on the creation of this Committee as a turning point in the development of corporate reporting.”

A list of the members of the Steering Committee and Working Group is attached and further information on the IIRC can be found at www.integratedreporting.org.

Notes to editors

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) Climate change and the over-consumption of finite natural resources present significant risks that will have a profound impact on society and the economy. The A4S project was launched in 2004 by HRH The Prince of Wales to develop decision-making and reporting systems that take into account the longer-term and broader consequences of actions and are capable of responding to the sustainability challenges faced in the 21st Century. A4S works with businesses, investors, governments, accounting bodies, civil society and academics to build an international consensus around the need for a generally accepted integrated reporting framework and to develop practical guidance and tools to embed sustainability into decision-making processes.

Global Reporting Initiative The Global Reporting Initiative has pioneered the development of the world’s most widely used Sustainability Reporting Framework and is committed to its continuous improvement and application worldwide. This framework sets out the principles and indicators that organizations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental and social performance.

For more information, please contact: www.integratedreporting.org.

IIRC Steering Committee
List of members:

  • Sir Michael Peat, Principal Private Secretary to TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (Chairman)
  • Professor Mervyn King, Chairman, King Committee on Corporate Governance and Chairman, Global Reporting Initiative (Deputy Chairman)
  • Helen Brand, Chief Executive, ACCA
  • Robert Bunting, President, International Federation of Accountants
  • Professor Nelson Carvalho, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil and Chairman, 25th session of UNCTAD’s ISAR
  • Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of Unit, UNEP Finance Initiative • Jane Diplock, Chairperson, Executive Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions
  • Robert Eccles, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School
  • John Elkington, Founding Partner & Executive Chairman, Volans
  • Tim Flynn, Chairman, KPMG International
  • Robert H. Herz, Chairman, Financial Accounting Standards Board
  • Ishat Hussain, Chief Financial Officer, Tata
  • Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, Global Accounting Alliance
  • Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact
  • Professor Angelien Kemna, Chief Investment Officer, APG
  • Thomas Kusterer, EDF Energy Chief Financial Officer, EDF Group
  • Huguette Labelle, Chair, Transparency International
  • Dennis Nally, Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited
  • Jeremy Newman, Chief Executive Officer, BDO International
  • Edward Nusbaum, Chief Executive Officer, Grant Thornton International
  • David Nussbaum, WWF-UK Chief Executive, WWF International
  • Roberto Pedote, Executive Vice President and Finance, Natura
  • Russell Picot, Group Chief Accounting Officer, HSBC
  • Jim Quigley, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
  • Atsushi Saito, President & CEO, Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc
  • Richard Samans, Managing Director, WEF and Chairman, Climate Disclosure Standards Board
  • Jim Singh, Chief Financial Officer, Nestle • Björn Stigson, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Charles Tilley, Chief Executive, CIMA
  • Jim Turley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ernst & Young
  • Sir David Tweedie, Chairman, International Accounting Standards Board
  • Doug Webb, 100 Group of Finance Directors
  • Christy Wood, Chair, International Corporate Governance Network

IIRC Working Group
List of members:

  • Paul Druckman, Executive Board Chairman, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (Co-Chairman)
  • Ian Ball, Chief Executive, International Federation of Accountants (Co-Chairman)
  • Nelmara Arbex, Deputy Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative
  • Frank Curtiss, Head of Corporate Governance, Railpen and Chair, International Corporate Governance Network Non-Financial Reporting Committee
  • Jessica Fries, Director, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (Secretary)
  • James Gifford, Executive Director, United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment
  • Alan Knight, Associate Senior Partner, AccountAbility
  • Mitsuru Komiyama, Executive Board, The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Bob Laux, Director, Accounting and Reporting, Microsoft
  • Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative
  • Steve Maslin, Partner, Grant Thornton
  • Dr Anthony Miller, Corporate Transparency and Accountability Programme, UNCTAD
  • Dr Jeanne Ng, Director - Group Environmental Affairs, CLP Holdings Limited
  • David Phillips, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Janet Ranganathan, Vice President for Science and Research, WRI • Richard Reid, Partner, KPMG
  • Susanne Stormer, Vice President, Global Triple Bottom Line Management, Novo Nordisk
  • Alan Teixeira, Director of Technical Activities, International Accounting Standards Board
  • Graham Terry, Head: Office Of The Executive President, South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • Dr Steve Waygood, Head of Sustainability Research and Engagement, Aviva