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Connecting the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and calls for ‘harmonisation’ of sustainability reporting

Adams, C.A. and Abhayawansa, S. (2021) 'Connecting the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and calls for ‘harmonisation’ of sustainability reporting.', Critical perspectives on accounting. . p. 102309.

Abstract

We critically examine the call for ‘harmonisation’ of sustainability reporting frameworks and standards that occurred alongside an increase in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We identify three myths that have been promulgated in calls for ‘harmonisation’ that seek to: simplify sustainability reporting and ESG analysis and shift the control for standard-setting to an investor-oriented private sector body. We argue that the myths are based on deception, misunderstandings, and disregard for both academic research and the views of sustainability practitioners. They demonstrate a lack of regard for different users of corporate sustainability information, a lack of analysis of the alternatives, an overestimation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation’s expertise and mischaracterisation of sustainable/ESG financing.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 23 September 2022.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
File format - PDF
(341Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpa.2021.102309
Publisher statement:© 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Date accepted:17 March 2021
Date deposited:19 March 2021
Date of first online publication:23 March 2021
Date first made open access:23 September 2022

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