Our Chair's report from the 2022/23 Annual Report

This year we achieved a major milestone, issuing the Aotearoa New Zealand Climate Standards in December 2022. I am immensely proud of how we have undertaken this work. From the outset, we said we would work iteratively and consultatively, and we remained true to that commitment. A vast array of professional disciplines, peak bodies, sectors and industries came together and worked with us to create a set of world-leading and transformative reporting standards. The ability for shareholders to make more informed decisions, and for the reporting entities themselves to have a keener eye on the future potential risks and opportunities of climate change and be empowered to act, cannot
be understated.

"Simply put, the
External Reporting Board has ceased to operate solely in the domain of accountants and auditors and entered a much bigger world"

Michele Embling - Chair
External Reporting Board

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In doing the mahi to develop the disclosures, the External Reporting Board itself has also transformed. The introduction of mandatory climate reporting catapulted us out of our typical spheres of engagement. Simply put, the External Reporting Board has ceased to operate solely in the domain of accountants and auditors and entered a much bigger world. Partnering, engaging, and learning together across sectors and professional disciplines is now central to how we work. This approach is exemplified in how we are approaching the development of an assurance standard for GHG emissions disclosures, thanks in part to the fresh world view brought by Marje Russ, who was appointed as Chair to the External Reporting Board’s Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and is on the Sustainability Assurance Reference Group supporting the project of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

We have continued to be a respected voice on the global standard-setting stage through our submissions, attendance at key meetings and liaison with international boards.
By continually investing in key global relationships, we are better able to influence and ensure that matters critical to our country are considered.

Key highlights include Greg Schollum’s appointment to the IAASB following Lyn Provost’s successful contribution to the IAASB over the previous six years, and hosting standard setters and securities regulators from across the Asia-Pacific region at a climate reporting summit in May this year. We have also successfully established new relationships with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Good governance ensures the External Reporting Board can be nimble and adapt to our changing context. This year we have undertaken several initiatives to ensure that the Board is well informed, working in the right way and adding value. We commissioned an independent review of our board and sub-boards to assess our overall performance and current arrangements. The review concluded, “The overall picture is one of quality performance to date, but a recognised need to strengthen Board arrangements for meeting new demands”. In the coming year we will work through the various recommendations to ensure we optimise our effectiveness, deliver on our extended mandate and achieve our vision for Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Board has also initiated work to develop a shared understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the importance of this to our role and purpose as an independent Crown entity.
The appointment of Sheree Ryan (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato) to the Board is helping us progress this mahi with confidence.

Having a deeper understanding of Te Tiriti is also an important aspect of our multi-year initiative focused on developing an intergenerational impact reporting framework from an Aotearoa New Zealand perspective. This work is under the auspices of a project called Ngā pou o te kawa ora, which refers to the pillars of life. We are grateful for the expert guidance of our Kaitiaki Group led by Joe Hanita (Ngāti Kuia, Te Ātiawa, Rangitāne and Ngāti Kahungunu), along with the generous input of all those who have participated in the regional wānanga and hui over the last 12 months in support of this work.

I would also like to thank my fellow Board members, External Reporting Board staff, the members of our standard-setting Boards and Advisory Panels, and the many stakeholders who have contributed so meaningfully to our work.

Ngā mihi nui

Michele Embling

Read our full annual report for 2022/23 here.

Read our Insights articles here.