Buyer’s Guide: ESG Assurance Services (2022)

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Executive Summary

This report provides executives in sustainability, finance and internal audit roles with current analysis of nine ESG assurance services providers. The report draws upon data collected from vendor questionnaires and interviews, as well as previous Verdantix research, supplemented with publicly available information. Against a backdrop of increasing regulatory pressure and mounting concerns over reputational and litigation risks, the ESG assurance landscape is rapidly evolving. Prospective buyers should use this guide to support their search for services providers that correspond to their ESG assurance requirements.

Table of contents

Buyer’s Guide: ESG Assurance Services (2022)
Defining ESG Assurance Services
Independent Assurance Enhances Credibility Of ESG Disclosures
Key Features Of ESG Assurance Engagements
Key Criteria That Buyers Should Consider When Selecting A Services Provider For ESG Assurance
Selection Criteria For The 2022 ESG Assurance Services Buyer’s Guide
Apex Companies
Bureau Veritas
Grant Thornton UK

Table of figures

Figure 1. Types Of Assurance Services
Figure 2. Sustainability Executives’ Funding Priorities Over The Next Two Years
Figure 3. Sustainability Executives’ Key Purchase Criteria When Selecting A Consulting Provider
Figure 4. List Of ESG Assurance Services Providers
Figure 5. Apex Companies Service Offering Overview
Figure 6. Bureau Veritas Service Offering Overview
Figure 7. DEKRA Service Offering Overview
Figure 8. Deloitte Service Offering Overview
Figure 9. ERM CVS Service Offering Overview
Figure 10. EY Service Offering Overview
Figure 11. Grant Thornton UK Service Offering Overview
Figure 12. LRQA Service Offering Overview
Figure 13. PwC Service Offering Overview

Organisations mentioned

AccountAbility, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Amundi, Apex Companies, AssureCo, AstraZeneca, Atlas Copco, AXA, BNY Mellon, Bridgestone Corporation, Brother Industries, BT, Bureau Veritas, Canary Wharf Group, Canon Inc., Carnival Cruise Lines, Caterpillar, CDP, COFCO International, ConocoPhillips, Danone, DEKRA, Deloitte, DHL, Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), Drax, DS Smith, ELEVATE, Eli Lilly and Company, ERM, ERM CVS, European Commission, ExxonMobil, EY, Farasis Energy, FMC Corporation, GHG Protocol, Gironde, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Gold Standard, Grant Thornton UK, Hess Corporation, Hilton, Hyundai, IBM, Informa, International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE), International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), Jackson Family Wines, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Heinz, Lenovo, Logitech, LRQA, Maersk, Marriott, Mars, Mersen, MiQ, Moderna, Moody's, Mosaic Company, MZiQ, Nestlé, NewCo, Northrop Grumman, Panasonic Corporation, Pfizer, PwC, Quentic, S&P Global, Sedex, SGL Carbon, Shell, SICK, Siemens, Stanford University, State Street, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Suzano, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Task Force on Inequality-related Financial Disclosures (TIFD), Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) Council, Thai Union, Uber, United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Value Reporting Foundation, Verra

About the authors

Lily Turnbull

Senior Analyst
Lily is a Senior Analyst in the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice. Her current research agenda focuses on ESG and sustainability services, ESG assurance, and sustainable finance. Lily joined Verdantix in 2022 and has previous experience in social impact research and ESG software development. She holds an MSc in Women, Peace & Security from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Theology & Religion from the University of Bristol.

Guy Lewis

Industry Analyst
Guy is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix ESG & Sustainability practice. He currently leads research on circular economy software and services and supports research across several other ESG and sustainability themes. Prior to joining Verdantix, Guy was an energy specialist helping to optimize member experience, through which he gained knowledge of both operations and smart technologies. Guy holds a BA in Geography from the University of Manchester, with a placement year at the University of Queensland.

Kim Knickle

Research Director, ESG & Sustainability
Kimberly Knickle is Research Director of the ESG & Sustainability practice at Verdantix. Her research areas encompass ESG regulations and reporting, ESG risk, supply chain sustainability, circular economy, social impact, and sustainable finance. Kim has worked for more than 20 years in the IT industry, providing research and analysis to help companies invest wisely in new technologies. Before joining the analyst industry, she held various roles in IT services, engineering and product safety testing, beginning her career at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. Kim holds an MBA from Boston University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell.

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