Proposed changes to the Code of Ethics for sustainability assurance

Demand for sustainability information in external reports continues to grow - globally and here in New Zealand. 


Provision of ethical and independent assurance over this information is critical to support trust and confidence in sustainability reporting. 

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The International Ethics Standards Board of Accountants (IESBA) are proposing changes to their Code to address ethics and independence requirements for sustainability assurance practitioners. These key revisions are intended to be profession agnostic and able to be implemented by all sustainability assurance professionals.

Exposure Drafts

IESBA’s exposure draft and explanatory memorandum on Sustainability Ethics and Independence

We are keen to hear your views on the proposals to inform our submission to IESBA.
The key questions we are interested in hearing your views on are:

  • Are the proposed revisions at the right level for New Zealand?
  • Are the proposals sufficiently profession agnostic to be implemented by all sustainability assurance practitioners?

We are currently drafting a summary of the significant changes and are intending to publish this in the next few weeks.

Useful background information

Our recent consultation on Greenhouse Gas Assurance engagements provided an opportunity to explore a range questions on this topic. We also heard variety of views through the events we hosted during Mark Babington's visit to New Zealand in November 2023. The webinar on Ethics, Independence and Sustainability Assurance can be
viewed here.

IESBA Webinar for the Sustainability Exposure Draft

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) will be holding a webinar on the exposure draft on 6 March 2024 at 2:00pm. The webinar will provide useful information and valuable insight on the proposals in the exposure draft for participants from all stakeholder groups. 

Register for the IESBA's webinar here.

How to provide feedback

We will be holding focused discussions about the new proposals on 14 March 2024 in Auckland and 15 March 2024 virtually. To sign up email

Comments can sent to us below or via email to

We would appreciate any comments to incorporate into our response by 15 April 2024.

We intend on publishing all comments on the XRB website, unless they may be defamatory. If you have any objection to this, we will not publish them. However, they will remain subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and, therefore, may be released in part or in full. The Privacy Act 2020 also applies.