Operational Guidance on:
Reporting, Disclosure, and Claims
Purpose & Summary
The increasing number of companies making ethical supply chain commitments has coincided with increasing expectations for corporate reporting and disclosure on sustainability issues. Companies must demonstrate progress towards their commitments through accurate, thorough, and timely reporting so that their investors, business partners, governments, civil society, and consumers can make decisions based on credible information. In addition, companies may wish to make claims about the extent to which they have fulfilled their commitments or made progress towards doing so. This Operational Guidance elaborates on Core Principle 12, specifying good practice for company reporting, disclosure, and claims related to commitments that address the Accountability Framework’s scope (i.e., halting deforestation and ecosystem conversion and respecting human rights).
The guidance addresses four primary topics:
- Overview of reporting on supply chain commitments: Section 1 outlines good practices for aggregate-level public and business-to-business reporting on the implementation and outcomes of ethical supply chain commitments. It also discusses the use of existing systems for reporting on commitments within the scope of the Accountability Framework.
- Content of company reporting: Section 2 provides expectations for reporting on exposure to risk, implementation of commitments, traceability and control of commodity supply, compliance with commitments, and outcomes of commitments. This guidance has been developed in consultation with several leading reporting and assessment initiatives that focus on the topics within the Accountability Framework’s scope. It is designed to align with (and help improve alignment among) the systems by which companies are assessed externally by their buyers, investors, civil society, and other stakeholders.
- Information disclosure regarding the supply base and suppliers: Whereas the first two sections address aggregate-level reporting by companies or business units, Section 3 addresses disclosure related to specific origins and suppliers within companies’ operations and supply chains. This information is intended to foster greater transparency and stronger accountability around ethical supply chains.
- Claims: Section 4 explains how companies can develop and substantiate robust and credible claims related to progress towards or fulfillment of commitments within the Accountability Framework’s scope. This material builds directly on Sections 1-3 and other parts of the Framework, as monitoring, verification, reporting, and disclosure practices that adhere to AFi-specified good practices provide a strong foundation for credible claims.
Topics in this Guidance
Reporting and disclosure are central to the AFi’s goal of driving faster progress, stronger accountability, and clearer incentives for responsible commidity production and trade. To this end, this guidance specifies good practice that companies should follow to effectively report on progress and outcomes related to social and environmental topics within the AFi scope and to make claims associated with these results.