The History and Future of Sustainability Assurance

In Adams, C A (editor), Handbook of Accounting and Sustainability, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

22 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Roger Simnett

Roger Simnett

Deakin University; UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting

Shan Zhou

The University of Sydney

Hien Hoang

UNSW Sydney School of Accounting

Date Written: October 28, 2021

Abstract

Across all sustainability reporting frameworks there is one consistent claim, that the credibility of the reported information is enhanced if it is independently assured by an assurance expert. In this chapter we first examine the need to rebuild trust and the current fragmentation of sustainability reporting frameworks and consider their impact on credibility enhancing approaches for sustainability information. We trace the evolution of sustainability assurance, including where we are at, how did we get there, and what we know from standard-setting, practice, and research. Possible developments in credibility enhancement of sustainability information are then outlined, including the potential to develop an assurance engagement which covers behaviours, systems as well as the sustainability report, the practice of combined assurance, and providing “examples of evidence”. We conclude by outlining the need for research to provide an evidence base for informed decision-making and explore potential research opportunities under different research approaches.

Keywords: sustainability assurance, trust, new assurance services, assurance practitioner, combined assurance, assurance techniques

Suggested Citation

Simnett, Roger and Zhou, Shan and Hoang, Hien, The History and Future of Sustainability Assurance (October 28, 2021). In Adams, C A (editor), Handbook of Accounting and Sustainability, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3951625

Roger Simnett (Contact Author)

Deakin University ( email )

75 Pigdons Road
Victoria, Victoria 3216
Australia

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 5825 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 5925 (Fax)

Shan Zhou

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Hien Hoang

UNSW Sydney School of Accounting ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales
Australia

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