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Sustainability Reporting Verification

External verification enhances the credibility of your sustainability report and improves internal reporting processes. Most people and organizations operate under the motto of “trust but verify”. DNV GL has been recently deemed a Global Leader in Sustainability Assurance Services.

Purpose

Sustainability Reporting Verification is a structured verification concept that makes your reporting more reliable and credible.

  • Do you have appropriate reporting processes in place?
  • Is your sustainability report viewed as trustworthy by your stakeholders?

Mainstream investors and analysts are increasingly relying on independently verified social and environmental information in their evaluation of organizational performance, especially towards medium and long term growth. Consumers and other stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware of the non-financial performance indicators of organizations.

Sustainability Reporting Verification is aimed at satisfying the need for an internationally accepted standard. It presents concepts, mechanisms, and methodologies that standardize the framework for verification.

Benefits

The deliverable is a verification report and an assurance statement. Information derived from reporting is fundamental for planning and decision-making. Correct reporting and data is crucial. DNV GL ensures this through methods such as data collection and assessment, site visits, interviews, and document reviews.

The verification report contains an overview and details on the strengths and weaknesses found, as well as opportunities for further improvement. The assurance statement can be published together with the sustainability report.

Verification Criteria

DNV GL - Business Assurance will verify the collection, evaluation, and dissemination of information presented in sustainability reports. The structure and processes built into the verification are made to ensure that the verification report and the Assurance Statement provide a clear indication of the following report criteria:

  1. Completeness: All information material to the organization and stakeholders for assessing the organization's economic, environmental, and social performance should be reported.
  2. Reliability, which consists of:
    • Accuracy: Information should be sufficiently accurate and reliable to enable its use for decision-making purposes.
    • Neutrality: The report should present its content in a balanced and unbiased manner.
    • Comparability: Reports should be comparable over time and across organizations.
  3. Responsiveness: The organization should develop and implement an efficient stakeholder engagement process and appropriate react to interested parties’ concern and feedback.

Scope of work

The scope of work will vary according to the size of the organization, the industry sector, how developed your Corporate Responsibility data gathering currently is, previous experience with reporting, and your ambitions. The scope will be clarified with regard to six issues:

  1. What reporting is to be verified: full or partial report?
  2. Definition of Indicators: what to verify, the number and type of indicators
  3. Breadth and depth of verification: how many sites to visit, people to interview, stakeholders to contact, etc.
  4. Reporting boundaries: inclusion (or not) of supply chain, subsidiaries, holding company, etc.
  5. Reference to standards or guidelines, such as AA100, GRI, ISO 26000, etc.
  6. Degree of stakeholder engagement during assessment.

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