Sustainability

IFRS Foundation webcast highlights importance of industry-specific disclosures to investors

Feb 19, 2024

On February 19, 2024, the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS Foundation) published a webcast highlighting the importance of industry-specific disclosures to investors, as well as educational material designed to help companies using the SASB Standards to meet the requirements in IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information.

The webcast explores the primary motives behind investors utilizing industry-specific data in their analysis and decision-making processes, as well as emphasizing the significance of industry-specific criteria within the ISSB Standards.

The educational material explains how entities can meet the requirement in IFRS S1 to disclose material information about all sustainability-related risks and opportunities that could reasonably be expected to affect an entity's cash flows, its access to finance or cost of capital over the short, medium or long term.

The educational material states that the SASB standards can be a useful source of guidance in applying IFRS S1 because they:

  • are designed to provide investors, creditors and other lenders with information that is decision-useful and comparable with peers;
  • are tailored to specific industries, allowing companies to quickly access guidance that is relevant to their business activities; and
  • provide guidance on sustainability-related topics beyond climate, including human capital and nature.

Access the webcast  and educational material on the IFRS Foundation website.

ISSB issues January 2024 podcast

Jan 30, 2024

On January 30, 2024, the IFRS Foundation released a podcast hosted by ISSB Chair Emmanuel Faber and Vice-Chair Sue Lloyd discussing the latest developments from the ISSB.

The podcast looks ahead to the ISSB’s three priorities for 2024:

  • Supporting the implementation of the ISSB Standards;
  • Working with jurisdictions on their adoption roadmaps; and
  • Finalising the ISSB’s two-year work plan.

It also discusses recent progress on technical work, including the discussion at the January 2024 joint IASB-ISSB meeting, for which a dedicated podcast has been released.

Access the press release on the IFRS Foundation website.

IASB and ISSB emphasize connectivity in joint technical meeting

Jan 25, 2024

On January 25, 2024, the IASB and ISSB held their inaugural joint technical meeting in London. The meeting centered around feedback on the ISSB’s priorities for the next two years, focusing on potential projects for integrating financial and sustainability reporting.

The IFRS Foundation issued a special joint podcast episode where IASB Vice-Chair Linda Mezon-Hutter and ISSB Vice-Chair Sue Lloyd shared insights into the discussion.

Key topics included feedback on integration in reporting projects and enhancing connectivity between the two boards. The podcast also discussed the IASB’s management commentary project and the role of the Integrated Reporting Framework.

Access the press release on IFRS Foundation’s website.

GRI publishes update to its biodiversity standard

Jan 25, 2024

On January 25, 2024, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) published ‘GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024’ which replaces ‘GRI 304: Biodiversity 2016’. The updated standard, effective from January 1, 2026, aims to assist entities in disclosing their significant impacts on biodiversity.

The revised GRI biodiversity standard delivers:

  • full transparency throughout the supply chain; 
  • location-specific reporting on impacts; 
  • new disclosures on the direct drivers of biodiversity loss; and 
  • requirements for reporting impacts on society.

It builds on the most important global biodiversity developments, such as the UN Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the Science Based Target Network (SBTN) and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).

The GRI cooperated and liaised with the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), which developed European Sustainability Reporting Standard (ESRS) 4 Biodiversity and ecosystems, and other key organizations in the biodiversity field to support global alignment of the revised standard.

Access the press release on GRI’s website.

IFAC, AICPA & CIMA study shows advancement in global companies' sustainability reporting

Jan 22, 2024

On January 22, 2024, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), along with American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) released a report "The State of Play: Sustainability Disclosure and Assurance 2019-2022, Trends and Analysis”, indicating that the largest global companies are enhancing the depth and scope of their sustainability reporting.

This study, an annual benchmark that now includes 2022 data, also found the use of varying sustainability standards and frameworks, continues to make it difficult for investors, lenders, and other stakeholders to find consistent and comparable sustainability information.

Key findings revealed a surge in companies reporting sustainability information, with 98% doing so in 2022 compared to 91% in 2019. However, standalone sustainability reports have declined, indicating a shift towards integrated reporting. While there is an increase in companies seeking assurance on sustainability disclosures, the scope remains limited. Additionally, accounting firms dominate assurance engagements, reflecting growing recognition of their reliability in ensuring sustainability disclosure consistency.

Access the report on IFAC’s website.

IFRS Foundation and GRI publish summary of interoperability considerations for GHG emissions

Jan 18, 2024

On January 18, 2024, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the IFRS Foundation jointly published an analysis and mapping document titled ‘Interoperability considerations for GHG emissions when applying GRI Standards and ISSB Standards’.

This document illustrates the areas of interoperability between GRI 305: Emissions 2016 (GRI 305) and IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures (IFRS S2) that a company should consider when measuring and disclosing Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with both Standards

The press release states that the requirements in GRI 305 and IFRS S2 are highly aligned as, for example, both standards draw on the GHG Protocol. The high degree of alignment will help entities that already disclose Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions using the GRI standards to report information about GHG emissions in accordance with IFRS S2. Entities can also align other GHG emissions disclosures, depending on the choices they make in applying GRI 305 and IFRS S2.

Access the press release on the IFRS Foundation website.

 

 

SSE releases guidance on IFRS sustainability disclosure standards

Jan 16, 2024

On January 16, 2024, the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) launched a free toolkit that has been reviewed by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and supports stock exchanges and their market participants in the implementation of the IFRS sustainability disclosure standards.

The SSE’s mission is to provide a global platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, companies (issuers), regulators, policymakers and relevant international organizations, can enhance performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the press release, the toolkit covers the following:

  • Model guidance on sustainability-related financial disclosures
  • Transition plans training tool
  • Gap analysis checklist
  • Climate metrics training tool

The SSE has advised that additional guidance and tools will be released as required.

Access the press release  and the toolkit on the SSE website.

ISSB issues targeted amendments to the SASB standards to enhance their international applicability

Dec 19, 2023

On December 19, 2023, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) issued amendments to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards to enhance their international applicability. The amendments will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2025.

The SASB standards facilitate the implementation and application of IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information for preparers.

Changes

With these amendments, the ISSB intends to make the SASB standards more internationally applicable and GAAP-agnostic. The amendments remove and replace jurisdiction-specific references and definitions, without substantially altering industries, topics or metrics.

Effective date

To support those entities already using the SASB standards, the ISSB determined that these amendments will be effective for preparers with annual reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2025, with early application permitted.

Review the updated standards on the SASB website.

ISSB at COP28: Nearly 400 Organizations Across 64 Jurisdictions Pledge to Advance Global Climate Baseline

Dec 04, 2023

On December 4, 2023, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) announced that nearly 400 organizations from 64 jurisdictions have pledged to advance the adoption or use of its climate-related reporting standards at a global level.

Earlier this year, the ISSB Standards were endorsed by the global body for international securities regulators—IOSCO—and since then companies, jurisdictions, and other market players from around the world have been paving the way towards adopting or using the ISSB Standards.

Corporate membership groups representing thousands of companies globally have signed the statement, joined by more than 140 companies preparing public disclosures who also chose to demonstrate support directly. Companies have been calling for standards that enable them to communicate to investors comprehensive information about their climate resilience strategy.

The ISSB’s key partners in the sustainability disclosure landscape including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), CDP and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) also reaffirmed their support for the work of the ISSB. The ISSB continues to work closely with these partners to reduce market fragmentation in the sustainability disclosure landscape. 

Review the press release on the IFRS website.

ISSB at COP28: IFRS Foundation and ISO commit to future cooperation towards effective communication about sustainability-related risks and opportunities

Dec 03, 2023

On December 3, 2023 the IFRS Foundation and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) confirmed their shared commitment to cooperate to support efficient and resilient global economies.

ISO 14000 Environmental management and greenhouse gas emission standards aid companies in fulfilling sustainability and climate commitments, facilitating alignment with IFRS S2 disclosures. Firms with these management system standards are well-positioned to engage with investors using ISSB Standards.

As ISO Standards support consistent approaches internationally in the internal management of sustainability-related matters, ISO supports the work of the ISSB to establish a truly global baseline of sustainability-related financial disclosures.

Furthermore, ISO and the IFRS Foundation are committed to advancing capacity building initiatives that focus on supporting organisations to build internal expertise and understanding that advance practices and reporting.

Access the press release on the IFRS website.

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