Reporting sustainability data

Data to be collected (XBRL taxonomy)

  1. Use an XBRL taxonomy to specify the data for collection
  2. Re-use taxonomy modules from other standards setters
  3. Use additional metadata to make the taxonomy more useful for analysis such as the reference linkbase for capturing thematic, cross-cutting metadata
  4. Avoid modifying a published taxonomy
  5. If you are permitting filer extension taxonomies, then think about how to control and restrict their scope
    • Consider using a public, central registry for extension concepts
  6. Support more than one taxonomy version for filers to file against for a long period
    • Perhaps indicate the preferred taxonomy version for reporting while also indicating others are acceptable for entities fitting certain criteria (such as those having to report in multiple jurisdictions)

Data collection format (inline XBRL)

  1. Where reporting is open and/or contains narrative (text blocks), use Inline XBRL to collect sustainability data
  2. Republish collected data as a public good
    • Republish it exactly as originally filed
    • Also make available XBRL-JSON version of it for easy use with analysis tools
  3. Make sure filers use only units defined in the XBRL Unit Type Registry
    • Get in touch with us if you think you might need additional units defined in the registry

Narrative data

  1. Ensure narrative data tagging is organised so as to maximise the machine readability of the data
  2. The standard setter should decide on a reasonable level of detail of nested narrative tags. Nested narrative tags should only be required if tagging of corresponding texts brings additional benefit to the consumers of the data, compared to the “parent” narrative tag, that contains the same text as well.
  3. Design the taxonomy so that narrative questions make use of extensible enumerations where appropriate

Public repository of sustainability reports

  1. A public repository of the submitted data should be made available by the regulator (or other entity) collecting reports
    • Interested parties know there is a source of sustainability report that is authoritative and trustworthy
    • It is easy to find a given entities sustainability report or be confident that no such report exists
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XBRL International is a global not for profit operating in the public interest. Our purpose is to improve the accountability and transparency of business performance globally, by providing the open data exchange standard for business reporting.