The awards recognize the private sector’s contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
UNCTAD announced recipients of the ISAR Honours 2020 at the 37th meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) on 3 November.
The awards recognize entities that excel in promoting environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting among companies. They also facilitate the dissemination of national and international best practices on reporting the private sector’s contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The initiative supports efforts to enhance the quality and comparability of companies’ reporting of their contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its usefulness for monitoring the implementation of the SDGs.
“We congratulate all the recipients of this year’s honours,” said James Zhan, UNCTAD’s investment and enterprise director, at the awards ceremony conducted online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
This year, 37 public and private sector entities from 20 developing, developed and countries with economies in transition were considered for the honours. The candidates presented various effective approaches to facilitating enterprise reporting in attaining the SDGs.
Mr. Zhan said the sizeable number of candidates proved that businesses are increasing their commitment to Agenda 2030 despite the constraints and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mainstreaming ESG factors into capital market activities and financial instruments is playing an important role towards the achievement of the SDGs,” Mr. Zhan said.
In the national category, the Colombo Stock Exchange in Sri Lanka was awarded for its work with the Global Reporting Initiative on enhancing corporate transparency in the country.
It has done so by inculcating sustainability reporting among listed companies through workshops, events, roundtables and the publication of an ESG guidance document for listed companies.
“We are pleased to be recognized by the ISAR Honours 2020,” said Rajeeva Bandaranaike, the chief executive officer of the Colombo Stock Exchange. “We are also encouraged by Sri Lankan companies’ commitment to communicating their sustainability performance and will continue to help them embrace and advance ESG practices.”
Other recipients of the honours in the national category were the London Stock Exchange Group in the UK, for its ESG reporting guidance, and the Japan Exchange Group, for its practical handbook on ESG disclosure.
Recipients of the international honours included the Global Algorithmic Institute, for its initiative on harmonizing corporate sustainability reporting through the intersection of big data, artificial intelligence technology and UNCTAD-ISAR global core indicators.
The other international honorees were the UK-based Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project, for its guides on ESG reporting, and the Swiss-based Financial Stability Board, for the work of its task force on climate-related financial disclosures.
UNCTAD also gave special recognition to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Kenya (ICPAK), acknowledging its efforts in incorporating sustainability reporting aspects in its Financial Reporting (FiRe) Award, an established initiative on corporate reporting.
“The FiRe Award encourages and assists Kenyan enterprises to disclose and publish data on their contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said Cliff Nyandoro, head of technical services at ICPAK.
“The award also facilitates improvements in companies’ reporting on ESG issues, while ensuring this practice is entrenched in their reporting cycle,” he added.
The virtual ISAR Honors 2020 ceremony was attended by more than 100 participants and viewed by more than 150 people on the UN Web TV website.