Skip to main content

IESBA Issues Staff Publication Highlighting the Relevance and Applicability of the IESBA Code in Combatting Greenwashing

Oct 21, 2022 | New York, NY | English

Earlier today, the Staff of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released a Questions & Answers (Q&A) publication, Ethics Considerations in Sustainability Reporting, Including Guidance to Address Concerns about Greenwashing. The publication highlights the relevance and applicability of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code) to ethics-related challenges in the context of sustainability reporting and assurance, especially circumstances involving misleading or false sustainability information (i.e., “greenwashing”). 

Among other matters, the publication spotlights key provisions in the Code that apply in preparing and presenting sustainability information. It emphasizes the professional accountant’s obligation to be straightforward and honest and refrain from being associated with information that is misleading or false, including in situations where they might experience pressure to do so.

The publication is intended to assist professional accountants, especially those in business, but might also be of interest to other professionals involved in preparing sustainability reports or disclosures. It will also be useful to regulators and audit oversight bodies, policy makers, investors, those charged with governance, national standard setters, professional accountancy organizations, and others with an interest in the work of professional accountants and in sustainability reporting and assurance.


The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is an independent global standard-setting board. The IESBA serves the public interest by setting ethics standards, including auditor independence requirements, which seek to raise the bar for ethical conduct and practice for all professional accountants through a robust, globally operable International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards).

The IESBA believes a single set of high-quality ethics standards enhances the quality and consistency of services provided by professional accountants, thus contributing to public trust and confidence in the accountancy profession. The IESBA sets its standards in the public interest with advice from the IESBA Consultative Advisory Group (CAG) and under the oversight of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB).