Assurance as a Driver of Sustainability

As a Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed company and member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), a diversified metals mining company was required to obtain external assurance on its non-financial information included in its Annual Sustainability Report. IBIS was appointed to provide independent assurance on selected non-financial disclosures to be included in the Sustainability Report.

Although sustainability data assurance is a listing requirement in South Africa, the real value in such assurance is the independent review provided of internal systems and the company’s sustainability performance.  On this engagement, IBIS worked closely with the client to identify gaps and recommend practical solutions that helped support improved sustainability performance and associated data gathering and reporting processes.  

The IBIS Assurance team comprised highly experienced multi-disciplinary professionals with a broad range of expertise on corporate sustainability issues and reporting requirements.  As part of the assurance process, IBIS performed an in depth review into the systems and controls in place to verify the quality of the information produced.  Our technical approach and experience enabled us to effectively detect data generation inconsistencies for correction and prevention of such inconsistencies going forward.

By considering the client’s alignment with the principles of inclusivity, materiality, and responsiveness, the assurance activities tested the client’s stakeholder engagement process. Transparent stakeholder engagement helped the client identify and manage their key sustainability risks, leading to improved confidence in the company’s ability to deliver its key programs.

With each reporting cycle, the assurance process built internal awareness of strengths and weaknesses, which allowed for best practices to be identified and subsequently implemented at all operations within the Group.

IBIS offered recommendations in material risk areas, thereby enabling the client to undertake and monitor their own specific action plans where performance can be improved.  These recommendations were then used to effectively enhance internal controls, increase accountability, drive performance and enhance their overall business strategy.

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