External Assurances

This section of the module addresses external assurances, which are performed by independent third parties who are not employees of the organization. The meaning of assurances in sustainability reports can be confusing compared to audits in financial reports.

There are several different types of independent third party reviews performed by professional assurance providers. Reviews can be either limited or reasonable. They can also be general (on the entire report) or specific (on a few indicators or a certain part of the report). This section helps the reader to recognize several characteristics that are normally found in third party reviews.

This section also discusses another type of external assurance called a third party commentary or stakeholder panel. Although not as common as independent third party reviews, stakeholder feedback is useful both to the organization and the reader of the report.