In recent years, sustainability reporting has emerged as a crucial aspect of corporate transparency and responsibility. Organizations worldwide are recognizing the need to address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues to ensure a sustainable future for both their businesses and the planet. As sustainability becomes increasingly integrated into business strategies, various types of compliance in sustainability reporting have surfaced. In this blog post, we will simplify and explore the existing types of compliance and the potential future trends that will shape sustainability reporting over the next ten years. 

Current Types of Compliance in Sustainability Reporting 

  1. Voluntary Reporting Standards: Currently, many organizations engage in voluntary sustainability reporting using internationally recognized frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards. These frameworks provide guidelines on what to report, including environmental impacts, social performance, and governance practices. Voluntary reporting allows companies to showcase their commitment to sustainability and their willingness to go beyond minimum legal requirements.
  2. Mandatory Disclosure Requirements: Some countries and regions have introduced mandatory sustainability reporting requirements for certain businesses. These regulations vary in scope and depth, with some focusing solely on environmental aspects, while others encompass social and governance issues. For example, the European Union’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive and the Modern Slavery Act in the UK require certain companies to disclose specific ESG-related information.
  3. Industry-Specific Reporting Initiatives: Certain sectors have established their own industry-specific reporting initiatives to address unique sustainability challenges. Examples include the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) for financial institutions and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) for the fashion industry. These initiatives cater to sector-specific metrics and help companies measure and report their environmental and social impacts more effectively.
  4. Integrated Reporting: Integrated reporting goes beyond just sustainability reporting and aims to provide a holistic view of an organization’s value creation process. It combines financial and non-financial information, including ESG factors, to demonstrate how an organization’s strategy, governance, performance, and prospects lead to sustainable value creation. Integrated reporting enhances stakeholder understanding of an organization’s overall impact on society and the environment.

Future Trends in Compliance for Sustainability Reporting 

  1. Expanded Mandatory Reporting: Over the next decade, we can expect a substantial increase in mandatory sustainability reporting requirements globally. As awareness of climate change and social issues grows, governments will likely enact regulations that mandate organizations to disclose their ESG performance. These regulations may extend beyond large corporations to include medium-sized enterprises and non-listed companies.
  2. Standardization and Harmonization: With the proliferation of sustainability reporting frameworks, there will be a concerted effort to standardize and harmonize reporting requirements. This will streamline the reporting process for businesses and make it easier for stakeholders to compare performance across companies and sectors. Global organizations may work towards developing a universal reporting framework that consolidates the best practices from existing standards.
  3. Climate Risk Reporting: Climate change poses significant risks to businesses, and investors are increasingly demanding information on how companies are addressing climate-related risks and opportunities. Climate risk reporting, as promoted by the TCFD, will become a critical aspect of sustainability reporting over the next decade. Companies will need to disclose their climate-related risks, emissions reduction targets, and strategies to transition to a low-carbon economy.
  4. Supply Chain Transparency: As consumers and investors become more conscious of the social and environmental impacts of products, supply chain transparency will gain prominence in sustainability reporting. Companies will be required to disclose information about their supply chain practices, including efforts to address labor rights, human rights, and environmental impacts throughout the supply chain.
  5. ESG Performance Metrics: In the future, there will likely be a greater focus on quantifiable ESG performance metrics. Companies will be expected to set clear targets and report on their progress towards achieving them. Metrics related to energy consumption, water usage, waste generation, diversity and inclusion, employee turnover, and community engagement will play a significant role in sustainability reporting.


As the urgency of addressing global sustainability challenges intensifies, compliance in sustainability reporting will play a crucial role in guiding businesses towards responsible practices. Currently, voluntary reporting standards, mandatory disclosures, industry-specific initiatives, and integrated reporting are shaping sustainability reporting practices. However, over the next decade, we can expect to witness significant changes in the reporting landscape. Expanded mandatory reporting, standardization and harmonization efforts, climate risk reporting, supply chain transparency, and ESG performance metrics will all contribute to a more comprehensive and informative approach to sustainability reporting. Embracing these changes will not only benefit businesses by enhancing their reputation and stakeholder trust but will also drive positive change towards a more sustainable and equitable world.