XBRL Could Push Sustainability Reporting Into The Realm Of The CFO

by | Dec 21, 2007

The Global Reporting Initiative’s creation of an extensible business reporting language taxonomy for the many indicators itemized in its sustainability framework, could automate sustainability reporting in much the same way that the SEC believes XBRL will aid the production of financial reports, CFO writes.

It could even drive a new trend that sees standard financial data combined with sustainability data in a single annual report. A handful of companies already do this, according to the article, and Eric Israel, a managing director at KPMG, believes more will follow. “There is a serious need for IT support to make this happen,” he says. “It’s missing now, but as expectations change and sustainability reporting becomes less about PR and more about satisfying investors’ need for data, more automation will become essential.”

As reports encompass more data, CFOs, who are better qualified to verify whether data is accurate and up-to-date, might take the lead in sustainability reporting, instead of PR and environmental-affairs employees.

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