Having lead hundreds of sustainability performance assurance engagements over the last several decades I admit bias but have seen first hand evidence that organizations exaggerate and in some cases misrepresent their sustainability performance. This is especially true when the marketing departments are tasked with the job of turning an organization green.
As non-financial sustainability performance information is relied upon to make important decisions about investment and other business relationships, assurance of organizations sustainability performance assertions will become more common. An important question is who will do this assurance work? Recognizing opportunity the financial accounting profession is hard at work tooling up to fill this emerging niche http://www.ifac.org/publications-resources/ifac-sustainability-framework-20
The confidences stakeholders can place in the results of an assurance engagement are directly proportional to the competence of those performing the audits. It will be interesting to see how the bean counters do at assessing environmental, health, safety and social performance as they endeavor to to learn the practice in this market.