Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) requirements are rapidly changing – are you ready?

A growing number of jurisdictions are advancing measures to achieve consistency in disclosures around climate change and its impacts. Companies are facing new ESG regulations, mostly focused on accuracy in carbon footprint reporting and strategies. As companies navigate this increasingly complex regulatory landscape, robust ESG strategies become more and more important.

We have seen the resource sector increasingly prioritise sustainability. In the absence of regulations and uniform definitions, the industry had developed its own frameworks, standards and certifications. However, regulations are now catching up and intensifying, with investors demanding clarity for decision-making.

More than 20 jurisdictions around the world have already decided to use or are taking steps to introduce International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) standards in their legal or regulatory frameworks. Together, these jurisdictions account for nearly 55% of global GDP, more than 40% of global market capitalisation and more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)[i]. The European Union was first to adopt these standards. The latest is China, where the Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China issued the Exposure Draft of Chinese Sustainability Disclosure Standards for Business Enterprises. The draft outlines the unified China Sustainability Disclosure Standards, which are based on ISSB Standards.

Recent regulations have also been introduced in Australia around mandatory reporting of climate-related risks. In addition, mining clients should also consider upcoming regulations in Canada. As a major mining jurisdiction and a signatory to the Paris Agreement, Canada has committed to reducing its GHG emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy. The Canadian government has announced plans to implement stricter regulations on emissions from industrial sectors to meet its climate targets.

To demonstrate ESG performance effectively, companies must prioritise efficient collection, standardization and reporting of ESG data at the fund/portfolio level, ensuring credibility and adherence to good governance principles. It's essential to recognize the diverse needs of stakeholders as the intended users of this information, acknowledging that there's no one-size-fits-all approach. By aligning with these principles and practices, companies can navigate the evolving landscape, demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, and foster long-term value creation.

Ausenco’s approach focuses on achieving a balance between ‘quality’ and ‘quantity’ of information through understanding the purpose of different ESG frameworks. The key lies not just in measuring data, but in contextualizing and integrating it into an overarching emissions strategy and corporate climate position. Credible data, particularly on environmental and scopes 1–3 GHG emissions, is essential to establish the science-based metrics and targets that are demanded by regulatory frameworks focused on climate strategies. We work with our clients to set up processes and procedures that facilitate corporate governance, align to global standards and meet stakeholder expectations.

Our team has expertise in developing and implementing corporate sustainability and ESG strategies that are focused on driving high standards of performance. Our experts mitigate the challenging environmental aspects of ESG through strategies to reduce climate and biodiversity risks, delivery of GHG inventories and mitigation plans, adaptation and resilience strategies, decarbonized infrastructure design, and energy efficiency strategies.

Contact us for more information on how we can help you navigate the changing ESG and sustainability conversation.


[i] Jurisdictions representing over half the global economy by GDP take steps towards ISSB Standards, https://www.ifrs.org/news-and-events/news/2024/05/jurisdictions-representing-over-half-the-global-economy-by-gdp-take-steps-towards-issb-standards/, May 28, 2024