Press release: CIPFA report to help public bodies develop sustainability reporting strategies


CIPFA has published a major report on sustainability reporting in the public sector providing guidance, best practice and advice to help public sector bodies prepare sustainability reports and disclose their sustainability impacts.

“Public sector sustainability reporting: time to step it up”, authored by accounting professor Carol Adams, examines the barriers to widespread adoption of sustainability reporting in the public sector. In the private sector the practice is already common.

Rather than proposing the development and adoption of new standards, the report draws on the standards and frameworks that already exist and are relevant and useful for the public sector. These hail from organisations including the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

CIPFA will be holding a briefing call on 27 April with Professor Adams and Iain Murray, Director of Public Financial Management at CIPFA, to introduce the publication and its key recommendations. Book on the CIPFA website

Carol Adams, report author, said:

“This report sets out the key steps to assist public organisations in planning, preparing and improving their sustainability reporting.

“It focuses on the importance of disclosures on governance, management approach, strategy and performance and targets in driving change and maximising the ability of public sector organisations to create a positive impact on economies, society and the environment.”

Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, said:

“The public sector should be playing a key role when it comes to tackling climate change. Sustainability reporting in public sector bodies has long been overlooked because no sector-specific standards exist. This report aims to change that by proposing using already existing standards that fit the public sector’s unique needs.

“Time is running out. When it comes to sustainability reporting, public bodies need to step up and lead from the front.”

Notes to Editor:

If you have any queries please visit the CIPFA press office

Webchat is available Monday to Friday, 09:00 - 17:00 (excluding UK bank holidays).