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A global convenor for sustainability reporting guidance

ESG Exchange

Good Governance Academy commitment to Sustainability Reporting

ESG Exchange and our collective drive to demystify non-financial sustainability reporting is an initiative of the Good Governance Academy. The founder and patron is Professor Mervyn King SC. Prof King is Chair emeritus of the Global Reporting Initiative and the International Integrated Reporting Council. ESG Exchange’s founding sponsor is Archer, an enterprise risk management solutions provider, guiding the digital convergence of ESG and Integrated Risk Management.

Preparing for the changing corporate reporting demands

As illustrated in this Colloquium, company reports will soon need to include both financial and non-financial (sustainability) information. Practically, this data is not readily available and the experience to report on this data is scarce. In most cases, the development of new systems, business procedures and company capabilities are necessary. This is new territory for most reporting officers, and most are not prepared. Most reporting officers, including governing bodies and their assurance providers, are bewildered by the task ahead.

Barriers to adoption and transformational challenges

There are several barriers that stand in the way of companies effectively reporting non-financial information and connecting these with financial reports.


The barriers include:

  • Expertise — the expertise to provide the right corporate environment are both scarce and expensive;
  • Post-pandemic pressures — most companies are resource limited and the resources required for corporate reporting will be competing with resources required for business revitalisation;
  • Assurance and compliance overheads — such corporate reports will need to be assurable and, in many cases, comply with regulation and legislation, placing additional burdens on already stretched internal assurance and compliance resources.
  • Capacity — sustainability reporting, unlike traditional compliance reporting, will require a whole-company approach as reported targets are promised and plans scrutinised. This company-wide transformation requires the building of bridges between the business silos and the institutionalisation of integrated thinking.


Over and above these barriers are transformation challenges such as the lack of a standard or best-practices for an effective sustainability reporting system, and reduced timelines. Social demands are such that the time it took financial reporting systems to develop and mature will not be available for sustainability reporting.

A global call to action

Sustainable development through effective corporate reporting is

an imperative for people, planet, and prosperity.

The world needs organizations that are:

– equipped and publishing value-adding sustainability reports; 

– developing and thinking in an integrated manner; 

– accessing the best available expertise; and 

– delivering valuable business impacts.

Professor Mervyn King SC

ESG Exchange

The Good Governance Academy (GGA) has embraced this call to action and responded using its purpose of facilitating quality education (SDG 4) through collaboration (SDG 17). The GGA is convening standard setters, regulators, professional bodies, and educators in a global collaboration to assist boards, corporate leaders, and operational managers, from diverse professions and economic sectors, and provide:

  • Guided implementation
    A Sustainability How-To Playbook, of five modules, which results in the implementation of company-wide reporting proficiencies:
Operational capabilities Organizational competencies
• Data and technology
• Data
• Operational processes
• Transition & Transformation
• Business analytics
• Resiliency
• Finance and assurance work plans
• Reporting
• Report production
• Performance over the longer term
  • Giving time back
    The best available sustainability reporting know-how in one place
• Current, curated content
• Trusted templates and tools
• Masterclasses and learning management
  • Recognising time spent
    Recognition of investments in capacity and resources
• Certified time investments (CPD certificates)
• International certification and benchmarking
• Leader boards and level-based rewards
  • Support network
    Online discussion forums; facilitated conversations; and opportunities to engage with a network of local, national, and international peers making this a powerful place to be.

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Prof. Mervyn King

Patron, Good Governance Academy

Mervyn King is a Senior Counsel, former Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, and designated Chartered Director (South Africa). He is Professor Extraordinaire at the University of South Africa, Honorary Professor at the Universities of Pretoria and Cape Town, and a Visiting Professor at Rhodes University. He has honorary Doctorates from Wits University and Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Leeds University in the UK, and Deakin University in Australia.


Mervyn is honorary fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales; the Institute of Internal Auditors of the UK; the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants; the Certified Public Accountants of Australia; the Chartered Institute of Public Relations of the UK, and the Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.


Mervyn is Chair Emeritus of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa, as well as of the Value Reporting Foundation (incorporating the International Integrated Reporting Council and SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards for promoting quality corporate governance globally, from several institutions.


Mervyn chairs the Good Law Foundation and has chaired the United Nations Committee of Eminent persons on Governance and Oversight. He is a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the World Bank on Corporate Governance and of the ICC Court of Arbitration in Paris. Mervyn currently chairs the African Integrated Reporting Council and the Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa and is Patron of the Good Governance Academy.


Mervyn has been a chair, director and chief executive of several companies listed on the London, Luxembourg and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. He has consulted, advised and spoken on legal, business, advertising, sustainability and corporate governance issues in over 60 countries and has received many awards from international bodies around the world including the World Federation of Stock Exchanges and the International Federation of Accountants.


He is the author of many books on governance, sustainability and reporting, the latest being “The Healthy Company.”

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