In February 2016 the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released a new publication entitled Assurance: Generating value from external assurance of sustainability reporting.

The publication explains how businesses at different stages of the assurance journey can use the Assurance Maturity Model outlined in this paper to assure and validate the information in their reports. The report also provides key guidance from assurance providers and standard setters to assist reporters in navigating the assurance landscape.

This paper is the result of the WBCSD Redefining Value Assurance Project, in which ERM participated, that brought together eleven reporting companies, eight assurance providers and eleven non-WBCSD members, including assurance standards setters, universities and professional bodies, and three observer organizations. As part of their input to this project, ERM played a key role in the Core Working Group of 5 assurance providers that drafted and developed the report.

The Assurance Project provided an insight into assurance use and generated interest in external assurance among WBCSD members by explaining how external assurance can add value to their sustainability efforts and enhance their reporting. After conducting the Assurance of Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI’s) own Sustainability Report, ERM’s involvement in this project further demonstrates the growing importance of Assurance for those companies reporting their performance.

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