The AFi has worked to ensure that widely-used reporting standards and platforms that address environmental and human rights issues linked to soft commodities are well-aligned with the Accountability Framework and can be used to report in accordance with its guidance.
Aligned tools address the four key elements of reporting covered in the Framework:
- exposure to environmental and social risk
- management systems and activities to address this risk
- levels of traceability and control of materials in the supply chain
- progress and outcomes related to ethical supply chains
They also use metrics that are clear, robust, and appropriate. Many of these metrics were developed or improved in collaboration with the AFi, using the Common Methodology for Assessment of Progress Towards Deforestation- and Conversion-Free Supply Chains.
The following are some of the most commonly used reporting tools that can be used to report in alignment with the Accountability Framework:
CDP operates a global environmental disclosure system that supports companies in making their environmental risk and impact transparent to stakeholders. In the context of soft commodity sectors, investors and commodity buyers use CDP to request sustainability data on their business partners, make informed decisions, and incentivise high-performance or improvement. CDP’s forests questionnaire is the most in-depth and comprehensive tool available for reporting on policies, actions, and outcomes related to commodity-driven deforestation and ecosystem conversion.
Using CDP’s forests questionnaire, companies can report on seven forest-risk commodities: palm oil, timber products, cattle products, soy, rubber, cocoa, and coffee. The forests questionnaire has been fully revised to align with the Accountability Framework, and allows companies to report effectively on policies and commitments, traceability and risk assessment, supplier engagement and, as of 2022, on outcomes related to deforestation- and conversion-free supply chains.
Regular joint reports with CDP demonstrate how reporting against CDP can be used to assess progress against the expectations of the Accountability Framework. View most recent report.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides the world’s most widely used standards for sustainability reporting. The GRI standards cover a wide range of sustainability topics, are developed through a multi-stakeholder process with extensive consultation, and are freely available.
GRI’s standard for the Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fishing Sectors provides opportunity for comprehensive public reporting across the full scope of the Accountability Framework. The standard identifies sustainability topics that are likely material for companies in these sectors and provides a list of disclosures on which companies should report in relation to each topic. It guides disclosure on all key elements of the Accountability Framework – including ecosystem conversion and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and workers – as well as on climate impacts, sustainable livelihoods, and other topics. This standard may be used by upstream companies to report comprehensively on their sustainability policies, activities, and impacts in alignment with the Accountability Framework.
UNGP Reporting Framework (UNGP RF)
The UNGP Reporting Framework (UNGP RF) guides comprehensive company reporting against the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It was developed through a consultative process involving representatives from over 200 companies, investor groups, civil society organisations, governments, assurance providers, lawyers, and other expert organisations. Companies can use the UNGP RF to structure reporting on policies, implementation, and outcomes related to the Accountability Framework related to workers’ rights and rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
Implementation Reporting Framework (IRF)
The Implementation Reporting Framework (IRF) is a volume-based reporting tool developed through a collaborative process led by Proforest and operationalised in the palm oil sector through the Palm Oil Collaboration Group. The IRF facilitates volume-based reporting on compliance of palm oil volumes with commitments to no deforestation, no peatland conversion, and no exploitation (NDPE), allowing companies to develop aggregate measures of progress even when buying commodity volumes from intermediaries without full traceability back to the producer. Read our explainer, developed in partnership with Proforest, for further guidance on how the IRF can be used in alignment with the Accountability Framework.