SUSTAINABLE ACCOUNTING REVIEW
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Mandated reporting of environmental and social sustainability risks for ASX listed companies to take effect July 2014
May 29, 2014
On March 27th, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) released its revised “Principles and Recommendations, the third revIsion of its guidelines since 2003. The 2014 version has been developed to reflect “global developments in corporate governance,” according to published comments made by Alan Cameron, Chair of the ASX Corporate Governance Council, and will apply all ASX listed entities, whether they are established in Australia or elsewhere.
More specifically, changes to Principle 7 in the document make more detailed reference to the longer term impacts on “society and the environment” regarding how a listed entity conducts its business. Recommendations for reporting further specify that an entity should disclose any material exposure to environmental and social sustainability risks, and, if it does, how it manages or intends to manage those risks. Therein, environmental sustainability is defined as the ability of a listed entity to continue operating in a manner that does not compromise the health of the ecosystems in which it operates over the long term. Similarly, social sustainability is defined as the ability of a listed entity to continue operating in a manner that meets accepted social norms and needs over the long term.
The guidance does not require a listed company to publish a separate sustainability report; however, entities that do may meet the new requirement by cross-referencing that report. This edition of the Principles and Recommendations takes effect for an entity’s first full financial year commencing on or after July 1, 2014. To view the full document, click here.