The challenge


Dr Angela Cummine joined JMI as a Senior Policy Fellow from July-August 2022 to research whether and how governments should be disclosing their sustainability impact. Dr Cummine undertook the research at JMI while on temporary leave from her role as Director of Sustainable Finance at NSW Treasury.

As part of the fellowship, Dr Cummine consulted a range of senior executives from NSW government agencies, as well as peer government officials, standard setters, and researchers in sustainability.

After the publication of her Policy Insights Paper in January 2022, the key themes were discussed at an interactive panel event at the University of Sydney, which brought together 50 experts from governments, financial Institutions, peak bodies, think tanks and universities.

In a nutshell

experts consulted
jurisdictions compared
launch event attendees


The results of the research were presented in a JMI Policy Insights Paper Sovereign sustainability reporting – New South Wales and beyond which made five recommendations:

NSW Government should not delay whole-of-government sustainability reporting and disclosure while international and domestic sustainability reporting guidance is being finalized and implemented.

NSW Treasury should produce a whole-of-government sustainability report, targeting financial market stakeholders (using the ISSB-aligned template in the report’s Annex A).

NSW government should adopt a sequenced approach to sustainability reporting and disclosure, growing capability and stakeholder reach over time, while acknowledging the interconnected nature of sustainability matters.

NSW government should show leadership and sustainability reporting by adopting a double-materiality approach.

NSW government should release its sustainability report with the State of the Finances report, but separate from Budget and Half Year reporting, to minimise politicisation risk.

How we are creating change

Dr Cummine’s fellowship and JMI Policy Insights Paper has already had significant positive impact. The insights have informed relevant briefing notes and advice within NSW Treasury and provided practical ideas for how whole-of-government sovereign sustainability reporting could be framed.

This has prompted broader discussion within government agencies as well as across peer jurisdictions on the role, content, scope and value of these reports.

It also contributed to building internal knowledge in core teams across the sector that are responsible for reporting or disclosure. Through its method, the report encouraged those teams to adopt a comparative and international best practice approach.

Learn more about JMI’s Impact Framework.

Tracking progress