Wed Sep 09 2020
Introducing the AA1000AS v3 – a next generation standard for sustainability leaders seeking assurance of sustainability management, performance, and reporting
AccountAbility is pleased to introduce the next version of its AA1000 Assurance Standard – v3– as the solution of choice for sustainability leaders seeking assurance of their sustainability management, performance, and reporting.
The AA1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS v3) is an internationally recognized, freely available standard that provides the requirements for AccountAbility-licensed assurance providers to conduct high-quality sustainability assurance on the application of the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles (AA1000AP, 2018) by reporting organizations.
Celebrating the standard’s release, Mr. Robert H. Herz, Board member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Foundation, former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and member of the AccountAbility Advisory Board, stated, “As more and more organizations around the world focus and report on their sustainability issues, activities, and performance, external assurance using the new AA1000 Assurance Standard can enhance stakeholder trust and confidence in this information.”
Mr. Sunil A. Misser, CEO of AccountAbility, emphasized Mr. Herz’s sentiments, expressing, “This latest version of the AA1000 Assurance Standard advances AccountAbility’s legacy (over 25 years) of delivering universally-applied sustainability guidance to organizations small and large, spanning industry sectors and geographies.”
Mr. Misser further commented, *“The AA1000AS v3 is unique in its ‘principles-based guidance’ approach, rooted in the AA1000 Accountability Principles (2018) of Inclusivity, Materiality, Responsiveness, and Impact. Its wide-angle, integrated, and forward-looking view of sustainability management, performance, and reporting assists companies in anticipating and managing future business risks and opportunities.”*
Ms. Amy Springsteel, Principal, Corporate Social Responsibility at BNY Mellon and Chair of the AccountAbility Standards Board, further elaborated on the value this standard brings to the sustainability assurance process, sharing, “With the increased scrutiny on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reports, external assurance of non-financial information is becoming paramount for responsible businesses. The AA1000AS v3 is a holistic and universally applicable solution for assurance providers and companies alike seeking a robust and relevant sustainability assurance process.”
Guided by a core AccountAbility team, the AA1000AS v3 was developed using a broad-based, global, and multi-stakeholder process overseen by a dedicated Steering Committee chaired by AccountAbility Standards Board member, Mr. Dongsoo Kim, Director of the Sustainability Management Center at the Korea Productivity Center.
Reflecting on the launch of this new version of the standard, Mr. Kim remarked, “The AA1000AS v3 prioritizes clarity, consistency, uniformity, and ease-of-use. It applies various ESG standards and sustainability practices to comply with sustainability disclosures such as the GRI, SASB, and TCFD, as well as responding to capital market demands from rating agencies and institutional investors. It is a privilege to have been involved in the development process of such an important solution to advance the sustainability assurance agenda.”
This revision process was also guided by a Working Group of international industry thought leaders chaired by Mr. Murray Sayce, Principal, Corporate Sustainability, ERM CVS. Mr. Sayce stated, “I speak on behalf of the Working Group in saying that we are delighted to see the timely release of the AA1000AS v3, which features key changes in upholding a rigorous and credible assurance approach in line with the AA1000 Accountability Principles (2018). I wholeheartedly thank those who have generously contributed their time, insights, and experience throughout the revision of this important framework.”
For enhanced quality and monitoring of assurance statements, the AA1000AS v3 will be administered through an innovative e-licensing system for AccountAbility-licensed assurance providers, which will be introduced later in the year. Beginning January 1, 2021 when it fully replaces the AA1000AS (2008), the AA1000AS v3 will become the only recognized AA1000 Assurance Standard.
The AA1000AS v3 may be downloaded for free at the link below, or at: https://www.accountability.org/standards/aa1000-assurance-standard