To help companies prepare for the development of their inaugural sustainability reports, which has been mandatory by SGX, August Consulting has teamed up with Virtus Assure (formerly JF Virtus), an independent assurance services consultancy firm, to explain how companies can approach the project in the most effective and practical way and assist in kick starting the report.
Organised exclusively for the clients of August Consulting, the session was well attended by company representatives from its clients. Participants were taken through a presentation by Professor John Lee, head of Sustainability Reporting in Virtus Assure, who explained the key components of a sustainability report, a recommended workflow, relevant issues to consider and several practical aspects of the production work. This was followed by a lively discussion, in which the participants gained an improved understanding of the requirements and timeframe for implementing this.
As Professor Lee explained, the clock is ticking for all companies to lay the groundwork for sustainability reporting. For companies with their financial year end on 31 December 2017, they are required to produce their first report by FY2018. While many companies will tend to find the start-up process daunting, Professor Lee expounded on some benefits of having a robust sustainability reporting system, which include being able to identify areas for improving operational efficiencies, cost savings and the raising of a company’s brand equity.
With the good turnout in this first session, August Consulting and Virtus Assure will be looking to host more sessions and starting to work with its clients more closely to embark on sustainability reporting programmes in compliance with SGX’s requirements.