In September 2020, AccountAbility has introduced 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 quality sustainability assurance on the application of the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles (AA1000AP, 2018) by reporting organizations.
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.”
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 applicable solution for assurance providers and companies alike seeking a 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 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.”
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.