SGX emphasised the necessity of internal review and external assurance, which could significantly increase stakeholder confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the sustainability information disclosed. As the internal review shall build on existing governance structures and internal control systems, it should be conducted by the internal audit function, and may involve relevant functions such as risk management, sustainability, or other specialist functions. The review should be conducted in accordance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and should be covered into the internal audit plan over an audit cycle as approved by the Audit Committee of the issuer.
The external assurance by independent professional bodies should be performed in accordance with recognised assurance standards (e.g., ISAE 3000, SSAE 3000, the AA 1000 Assurance Standards or the ISO), and the related information including scope covered, identity of assurer, standard used, and key findings should be disclosed in the report. The assurance may cover different aspects of sustainability disclosures, such as:
- data and its associated data collection process;
- compliance with the specified sustainability reporting framework;
- process to identify sustainability information reported; and
- compliance with the Listing Rules.