AccountAbility Principles Standard 2008

The AA1000APS 2008 provides an organisation with an internationally accepted set of principles to frame and structure the way in which they understand, govern, administer, implement, evaluate and communicate their accountability. It is primarily intended to be used by organisations developing an accountable and strategic approach to sustainability.

  • The Foundation Principle of Inclusivity - For an organisation that accepts its accountability to those on whom it has an impact and who have an impact on it, inclusivity is the participation of stakeholders in developing and achieving an accountable and strategic response to sustainability.
  • The Principle of Materiality - Materiality is determining the relevance and significance of an issue to an organisation and its stakeholders. A material issue is an issue that will influence the decisions, actions and performance of an organisation or its stakeholders.
  • The Principle of Responsiveness - Responsiveness is an organisation’s response to stakeholder issues that affect its sustainability performance and is realised through decisions, actions and performance, as well as communication with stakeholders.

The value of these principles lies in their comprehensive coverage and the flexibility of their application. They demand that an organisation actively engages with its stakeholders, fully identifies and understands sustainability issues that will have an impact on its performance, including economic, environmental, social and longer term financial performance, and then uses this understanding to develop responsible business strategies and performance objectives. Being principles rather than prescriptive rules, they allow the organisation to focus on what is material to its own vision and provide a framework for identifying and acting on real opportunities as well as managing non-financial risk and compliance.

The AccountAbility Principles for Sustainable Development first appeared in the AA1000 AccountAbility Framework Standard published in 1999. The AA1000 AccountAbility Principles in this standard supersede all previous versions published by AccountAbility.

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