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Green Quadrant Sustainability Assurance Global 2013

Date: 12 December 2013

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25 pages

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This Green Quadrant report provides a detailed comparison of the sustainability assurance capabilities of nine global providers, in order to help buyers of sustainability assurance such as heads of sustainability and finance officers understand which providers have the strongest expertise in nine service capabilities. While the market is maturing with greater acceptance of the assurance standards, new complexity comes from new reporting frameworks, greater finance integration, changing audiences for sustainability reporting, and country-specific regulations. Assurance providers are delivering increasingly wide scopes as their customers’ sustainability programmes and communications expand to cover supply chains, product sustainability and tax contributions. This report assesses nine of these providers against 63 criteria, reflects the views of 15 buyers of sustainability assurance services, and compares the assurance capability and market momentum of the providers. Verdantix finds that Bureau Veritas, Deloitte, DNV GL, EY, KPMG and PwC lead the sustainability assurance market, and that buyers need to answer four critical questions to maximize the benefits from assurance engagements.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE STATE OF THE MARKET FOR SUSTAINABILITY ASSURANCE
Slow Market Development Tests The Patience Of Suppliers And Buyers Alike

GROWING BUYER INTEREST IN SUSTAINABILITY ASSURANCE HELD BACK BY LIMITED BUDGETS
Sustainability Assurance Engagements Focus On GHG Inventories And Reporting
Growing Assurance Engagements Linked To New Fronts In Sustainability
Perceived Value Drivers Vary According To Buyers’ Situations
Credibility With Standards And Industry Dominate Selection Criteria

GREEN QUADRANT® SUSTAINABILITY ASSURANCE PROVIDERS
Green Quadrant® Methodology
Evaluated Firms: Selection Criteria
Evaluation Criteria For Sustainability Assurance Providers
Leading Firms Marry Blue Chip Client Lists With A Commitment To Shaping The Market
Challengers Excel In More Technical Disciplines

TABLE OF FIGURES

FIGURE 1. The Three Phases Of Market Development
FIGURE 2. Purchase Of Sustainability Assurance Over Time
FIGURE 3. Firms Purchase GHG Data And Sustainability Reporting Assurance
FIGURE 4. Firms’ Sustainability Purchase Intentions
FIGURE 5. Drivers For The Purchase Of Sustainability Assurance Services
FIGURE 6. Decision-Makers For Sustainability Assurance
FIGURE 7. Buyers’ Selection Criteria
FIGURE 8. Buyers’ Perceptions Of Providers
FIGURE 9-1. Capabilities Criteria For Sustainability Assurance Providers
FIGURE 9-2. Momentum Criteria For Sustainability Assurance Providers
FIGURE 10. Green Quadrant® Sustainability Assurance Providers
FIGURE 11-1. Capability Scores For Sustainability Assurance Providers
FIGURE 11-2. Momentum Scores For Sustainability Assurance Providers

ORGANIZATIONS MENTIONED

AccountAbility, Acona, AFNOR, Alcoa, ArcelorMittal, AstraZeneca, AT&T, BASF, Baxter International, BHP Billiton, BIO Intelligence Service, BP, BPA Worldwide, BSD Consulting, BSI, Bureau Veritas, CDP, Citigroup, Corporate Citizenship, DEKRA, Deloitte, DNV GL, Dow Chemical, ECOFACT, ENVIRON, Environmental Protection Agency, ERM CVS, ERM Group, EY, Global Reporting Initiative, Greenpeace, Hitachi, HSBC, Ingersoll Rand, International Accounting Standards Board, International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, International Council on Mining and Metals, International Integrated Reporting Council, Intertek, John Lewis Partnership, JQA, Kimberley-Clark, KPMG, Levi’s, LRQA, Lukoil, Mondi Group, MSCI, NAB, Nestlé, Network Rail, NQA, Philips, PwC, Renault, SABMiller, Samsung, SAP, SEQM, SGS, Siemens, Sigma-Aldrich, Sinclair Knight Merz Enviros, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, Sustainalytics, SustainAsia, Tata, The Reassurance Network, The Virtuous Circle, Tiffany, Titan Cement, Tokyo Gas, TÜV NORD, TÜV SÜD, Two Tomorrows, UL Environment, Unilever, United Nations Global Compact, UPS, URS, Vodafone, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Resources Institute, Xstrata