Beyond Disclosure: Driving Performance & Trust in ESG 

Download File
Useful information

Type of Publication:

Document Date:


Getting beyond greenwashing through standardization


Environmental, Social and Governance performance (or ESG) is an increasingly important topic amongst organizations around the world, driven in large part by growing consumer, investment and media attention on climate change, social inequality, and the impact of COVID-19, amongst other factors. As it stands, there exists a myriad of frameworks that support organizations to disclose and/or improve performance on an organization’s ESG practices. While many companies are reporting ESG-related data, investors, regulators, and the broader public are exercising greater scrutiny of organizational sustainability efforts and are on the lookout for “greenwashing.” 


Standardization can help 


Standards and conformity assessment are ideal tools to address these issues. As Canada’s National Standardization Body, SCC has a unique role to play. By working with the national and international standardization systems, we can address user needs beyond disclosure, through standardized management approaches, tools and guidance, add rigour through measurement and assurance vis-à-vis conformity assessment systems, and ensure there are balanced and diverse voices at the table to support ESG discussions. 

Recognizing this, SCC launched a collaborative process in 2022 with a Canadian Standardization Advisory Committee on ESG to identify the most pressing issues where the standardization system can fill key market gaps. The process involved three interrelated streams of work: 

  • Developing recommendations for advancing and prioritizing standardized ESG tools based on Canadian priorities; 
  • Identifying the greatest standardization needs for ESG in the Canadian context; and, 
  • Mapping what ESG tools are available and could be evolved to address user needs.

SCC is now proposing a path forward for ESG – one which will find backing, rigour and harmonization through the standardization system, both at the national and international levels. By working with key partners across Canada, SCC intends to enable the practice of ESG to become more impactful, priority-driven, and inclusive of Canadian needs and opportunities. At the international level, SCC can support the participation of Canadian experts in updating and/ or developing new international standards related to ESG, to help ensure Canadian priorities and interests are reflected, while maintaining the flexibility to adopt practices from the international level and tailor them to Canadian needs. 

This report is your call to action to partner with the standardization system.