The next steps in CDSB's story – your views welcome!

Technical Manager Dr Jarlath Molloy on the most recent developments at CDSB.

We began the process of updating the CDSB Framework in 2013, to provide guidance on reporting environmental information in mainstream financial reports. Voluntary disclosure has evolved significantly since the first edition of the CDSB Framework in 2010, in particular the adoption of the EU Directive on non-financial reporting in 2014 is set to drive voluntary reporting to a new level in Europe. Elsewhere, Governments, regulators and stock exchanges are increasingly interested in the evolution and application of non-financial reporting standards and we actively engage with them on these issues.

Earlier in 2014 we embarked on a three-stage public consultation with our initial proposals for the CDSB Framework update. Approximately 500 individual comments, suggestions and other points were raised by responders. The overwhelming response was positive, both validating the need for what we do and how we do it. We have carefully reviewed this feedback and have made a number of significant changes as a result. Many responders constructively challenged our thinking in various ways and their insight was particularly helpful in testing our earlier proposals.

One such change has been to take account of the EU non-financial reporting Directive, as well as mapping alignment between the CDSB Framework and CDP’s information requests, GRI’s G4, King III, CEO Water Mandate and number of other voluntary reporting drivers – as well as a growing number of mandatory reporting requirements globally. We compliment existing data collection and preparation methodologies, by enabling companies take the information they generate from reporting through CDP, GRI or SASB for example, and providing a framework to incorporate the material environmental information in their mainstream financial report.

In parallel with the update to the CDSB Framework, we are reviewing our vision, mission and messaging to better explain our theory of change. This will also address some concerns from consultation respondents on making the case for the CDSB Framework most effectively. We are also reviewing our website and much of the background information previously included in the CDSB Framework will now feature here which will enable a much more dynamic and relevant explanation of what we do and how we do it. In turn, the CDSB Framework will be more succinct and focus on the technical aspects of disclosure and guidance.

We have created a framework that can, in theory, be applied to any kind of non-financial information, as the principles and requirements are not tied to a specific topic. However, the scope of the CDSB Framework is set to environmental information and we build on our Board member’s activity, providing guidance on greenhouse gas emissions, forest risk commodities (i.e. the drivers of deforestation) and water.

Your views and input are now welcome. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. This second and final consultation is open until 14th December 2014 and all the details are available at www.cdsb.net/consultation.

This work has been made possible with the kind support of the Velux Foundations.

Image credit: Giampaolo Macorig / flckr