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Flash Report on Reporting 3.0

By Glenn Frommer, ESG Matters

Future Roadmap for Reporting –
The 4th International Conference in Amsterdam 30-31 May of the Reporting 3.0 Platform

The 4th International Conference of the Reporting 3 Platform, hosted by KPMG in their Dutch headquarters, was held in Amsterdam on 30-31 May. Attended by more than 180 reporting and investing professionals, the conference provided insight for disclosure practices that measure bone fide sustainability in its proper context, supported by multi-capital accounting, the seamless dataflow and encouragement for the building out of new sustainable business models.

The Reporting 3.0 Platform does not seek to develop new standards or guidelines, but to help catalyze the trigger-function of reporting to spur the emergence of a green, inclusive and open society.

The conference marked the culmination of four years of dialogue, conferencing and collaboration, and launched the first two of the four blueprints, the Reporting Blueprint and the Data Blueprint. The first draft of the Accounting Blueprint was presented and the New Business Models Blueprint was kicked off.

Strong speakers
Jonathan Porritt from the Forum for the future provided the introductory keynote focusing on ‘Creating the invisible band for the invisible hand’. Jonathan highlighted the magnitude of urgency needed to evolve reporting to represent a true response to our environmental challenges, questioned whether our intellectual capacity is being applied correctly in the sustainability movement, raised awareness on the pervasive use of ‘happy-clappy business sustainability reporting’ and asked for a doubling down focus on context-based.

Claudine Blamey from the Crown estate, UK, spoke on their use of the 6 capitals (financial capital, manufacturing capital, human capital, social and relationship capital, intellectual capital and, natural capital) and how they describe business success. The Crown estate called for others to share with their open methodology.

Interventions from GRI and IIRC reported their response to standardization, harmonization and convergence. GRI, now 20 years old, noted about 10,000 users and focused on the need to improve context-based reporting while activating their user base. IR highlighted integrated thinking and how that creates new value from the 6 or multi-capitals.

The release of the Reporting Blueprint was supported by Allen White from the Tellus Institute. Allen, a co-founder of GRI, highlighted how sustainability reporting has evolved over 25 years, how the changing world is impacting sustainability reporting and the vital role for the Reporting 3 Platform.

Breakout sessions focused on educating, advocating and accelerating the use of the Reporting Blueprint. Examples and challenging insights were presented by BSI, DNV GL, True Price Foundation, BASF, WBCSD, ING, ABN AMRO and GRI.

Kate Raworth from Oxford University highlighted ‘How Doughnut Economics Can Contextualize Corporate Reporting ‘. Doughnut economics provides a simple graphic incorporating social and planetary boundaries to frame the challenge of meeting the needs of all within the means of the planet.

The release of the Data Blueprint Report was assisted by Allen White who highlighted the impact of big data, big information and big insights. He warned that understanding of the data was in fact very superficial and the provision of detailed data without systems and context was a significant failing.

Breakout sessions on the Data Blueprint included interventions by the Centre for Sustainable Organizations, Article 13, BT, Lockheed Martin, WWF, Radboud University, Deloitte and Guard Global. Insights on the use of Blockchain and Cognitive Computing were most intriguing.

The introductory keynote for the 2nd day was given by Wim Bartles from KPMG, focusing on ’Accounting for the Future We Design’. Wim focused on the role of and connections between financial, management and sustainability reporting, and how those links will evolve in the next 20 years to become value accounting.

Great sessions and discussions
The plenary discussion provided insights from IIRC, WBCSD, EY, and SASB. They commented on the health of the accounting profession and sought a better alignment of corporate reporting and its allied dialogue. The need to ‘join the dots’ was debated in depth, and the need to refocus governance and financial duty was highlighted.

A draft of the Accounting Blueprint Report highlighted the function of multi-capitals in accounting, the use of integrated profit and loss accounting and social balance sheets. The need for multi and inter-disciplinary competencies was discussed and the challenges represented by the role of tangible/intangible assets, monetization, materiality and multi-layered income statements was presented. The need for narrative reporting was also shared.

Breakout sessions provided interventions by the Centre for Sustainable Organizations, SAICA, Social Value International, NBA, SASB, Aegon, Kering, True Price Foundation and APG Asset Management. There was much discussion of the purpose of accounting and how to represent true and fair accounts for the 6 capitals.

The new Business Model Blueprint was launched with the introductory keynote from Carolyn Hayman from Preventable Surprises. She discussed the importance of getting shareholder resolutions to focus on issues of climate change and stranded assets. Framing new business models was provided by Nancy Bockin from TU Delft and Nathan Gilbert from B Corp Europe.

The presentation of the future roadmap for the reporting 3.0 platform was the final session of the conference and focused on research, development, testing and training. Highlighted in the session was Reporting 3.0’s Beta Testing, Advocation Partner and the Academic Alliance Programmes.

For further information on the Reporting 3.0 Platform and the Advocation Partner Programme, please contact Dr Glenn Frommer, ESG Matters IVS at glenn.frommer@esgmatters.dk

 

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