Increased credibility through external assurance

Whether sustainability reporting adds significant value to your company depends primarily on the credibility and relevance of your report. External assurance by DQS as an independent body is a clear signal that your report adequately presents the essential sustainability aspects of your organization.

Increased credibility and transparency

Discharge of the supervisory board

Reliable basis for management decisions

Better rating results

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Assurance of Sustainability Reports as an important tool for greater credibility

Two terms, one meaning: In the context of reporting, verification and assurance refer to the external review of a report. The aim of such a review, also called audit, is to ensure the resilience, accuracy and trustworthiness of the published information in order to create added value for stakeholders and the company.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which publishes the most widely used international framework for sustainability reports, recommends external assurance. According to GRI, the global trend of sustainability report assurance has increased, with half of published reports already undergoing an external audit - and the trend is rising.

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Assurance of GRI reports, Global Compact, and ESRS report

Whether your sustainability report is based on the GRI standards, the Global Compact principles, ISO 26000, the SDGs, the German Sustainability Code or other reporting standards, DQS is your partner for the external assurance audit. 

In addition to a review of the full report, it is also possible to request assurance on selected key figures or parts of the report .

In principle, external assurance of sustainability reports is suitable for companies of any size and industry. It is particularly relevant for organizations that are in the eye of the public, such as listed companies, public organizations and companies that underlie specific legal requirements.

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DQS is a licensed assurance provider

In order to increase the quality of assurance procedures and ensure a certain degree of comparability, the British non-profit organization AccountAbility has published a standard for the assurance of sustainability reports, the AA1000 Assurance Standard (AS). The standard does not impose any requirements on the report itself, but describes the actual assurance process. As an officially licensed assurance provider, DQS is your partner for objective, independent and internationally recognized assurance statements.

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Level of Assurance

During the planning phase, the level of assurance must also be defined. This is the degree of assurance that the audit provides:

  • Moderate level of assurance: Your information is checked for plausibility. The audit focuses on internal evidence and on the management level.
  • High level of assurance: the evidence gathering process is more extensive here. The review is not limited to internal evidence, but also includes external sources. All levels of the organization are surveyed on a random basis.
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What is the assurance process?

In a first step, we discuss your organization, your approach to sustainability reporting and the objectives of the assurance engagement. Based on these discussions, you will receive an individual offer tailored to the needs of your company or organization.

In order to identify potential for improvement at an early stage, DQS offers you the possibility to conduct a pre-assessment. During the completeness check, the sustainability report is compared with the selected criteria catalog (e.g. GRI standards). This is typically followed by an evaluation of the report's content.
After the audit, our auditors prepare a detailed report in which concrete suggestions for improvement are made.
The timing of the pre-assessment depends on your requirements: both the draft report and an already published report can be audited.

The actual assurance audit consists of two parts: The document review and the audit. The duration of the assurance audit depends, among other things, on the scope, the scope of the report, and the selected assurance type and level. During the final meeting, our auditors explain all findings to you, give you feedback, and plan further steps together with you.

After the assurance process is complete, we prepare an assurance statement that can be published with the sustainability report.

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What does external assurance of a sustainability report cost?

The cost of external assurance depends, among other things, on the scope, the complexity of the report, and the type and level of assurance selected. We will be happy to make you an individual offer for your organization.

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Why DQS is the preferred assurance provider

  • Comprehensive expertise in auditing companies from all industries
  • Reliable and experienced auditors
  • Personal contact worldwide
  • AA1000-licensed verification body
  • Certified GRI training partner
  • Strong reputation as an accredited certification body for international standards
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What is always striking is the high level of expertise of the audit team and the comprehensive and sound review of our management approaches and sustainability indicators. In addition, I appreciate the recommendations that reach far into the future and influence our strategic planning.

Dr. Helmut Frieden Head of Sustainability Reporting, Symrise
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The focused and goal-oriented cooperation with DQS allows us to continue to inform our stakeholders transparently, relevantly and reliably in the future.

Carlo Diener Group Project Manager and ESG Specialist, Landis+Gyr
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Request a quote

Your local contact

We would be happy to provide you with an individual quote for sustainability reporting assurance.