Increased credibility through external verification

Whether sustainability reporting adds significant value to your company depends primarily on the credibility and relevance of your report. Verification 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

Description of the standard
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Report verification 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 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 verification. According to the GRI, the global trend of report verification has increased, with half of published reports already undergoing independent verification - and the trend is rising.

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Who may certify?
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Verification of GRI reports, Global Compact reports and others

Whether your sustainability report is based on the GRI standards, the Global Compact principles, ISO 26000, the SDGs, the German Sustainability Code ESG or other reporting standards is not a decisive factor for the external audit. The verification of selected key figures or parts of the report is also possible.

In principle, the independent verification of sustainability reports is suitable for companies of any size and industry that publish regular sustainability reports. In particular, the target group also includes companies that are in the eye of the public and want to position themselves as credibly sustainable companies.

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DQS is a licensed provider

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

  • Medium level ("Moderate Assurance"): Your information is checked for plausibility. The audit focuses on internal evidence and on the management level.
  • High level ("High Assurance"): Not only plausibility is checked, but also reliability is ensured. For this reason, the evidence gathering process is more detailed 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 verification process?

First, you discuss your company, your personal goals and the objectives of a GRI report verification with us, and we agree on various aspects of the verification. 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 verification consists of two parts: The document review and the on-site verification. The duration of the verification depends, among other things, on the scope, the scope of the report, and the selected verification 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 verification process is complete, we prepare an assurance statement that is published as part of the sustainability reporting.

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What does the verification of a sustainability report cost?

The cost of an external assurance depends, among other things, on the scope, the scope of the report, and the type and level of verification selected. We will be happy to make you an individual offer for your company without obligation.

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Why should I have sustainability reports verified by DQS?

  • 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 GRI report verification.