ISSB: General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information [ED]

Com­ment pe­riod ends on July 29, 2022

Next steps:

The ISSB will review the Exposure Draft feedback in H2/2022

Last updated:

April 2022

Overview

On March 31, 2022, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) have published the Exposure Draft, "General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information" that builds on the Technical Readiness Working Group (TRWG) prototype of the same name that was issued in November 2021. The resulting standard would be the first general presentation standard of the ISSB.

The main proposals in the Exposure Draft generally reflect the proposals in the prototype with some changed titles and strengthened definitions and some changes to the order of proposals.

They cover the following aspects of sustainability reporting: 

Objective: The objective of sustainability-related financial disclosures is providing information about the significant sustainability-related risks and opportunities to which the reporting entity is exposed that is useful to primary users of general purpose financial reporting in deciding whether to provide resources to the entity. A reporting entity discloses material information about all of the significant sustainability-related risks and opportunities to which it is exposed. Materiality is assessed in the context of the information necessary for users of general purpose financial reporting to assess enterprise value.

Scope: A reporting entity would apply the proposed standard in preparing and disclosing sustainability-related financial information in accordance with IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. The application of the standard is not restricted to entities applying IFRSs.

Core content: An entity would provide disclosures about governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets unless another IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standard permits or requires otherwise.

General features: Applying the proposed general requirements standard, an entity would disclose information that is relevant and faithfully represents what it purports to represent. Usefulness of the information provided is enhanced if the information is comparable, verifiable, timely and understandable.

Reporting entity: The exposure draft proposes that the reporting entity's boundary for its general purpose financial reporting is the same for its financial statements and sustainability-related financial disclosures. When currency is specified as the unit of measure, the reporting entity would use the presentation currency of its financial statements. The financial statements to which the sustainability-related financial disclosures relate must be disclosed.

Connected information: The disclosures provided must enable users of general purpose financial reporting to understand the connections between the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities and how these are linked to general purpose financial reporting information.

Fair presentation: A complete set of sustainability-related financial disclosures would present fairly the sustainability-related risks and opportunities to which the entity is exposed. A fair presentation requires the faithful representation of sustainability-related risks and opportunities in accordance with the principles set out in the proposed standard and would include additional disclosures when necessary.

Materiality: An entity would disclose all information on sustainability matters that is material for investors and other providers of capital in respect of a reporting entity. Sustainability-related financial information is considered material if omitting, misstating or obscuring that information could reasonably be expected to influence decisions that the primary users of general purpose financial reports make on the basis of those reports.

Comparative information: An entity would present comparative information regarding the previous period for all metrics reported in the current period. This might include comparative information for narrative and descriptive sustainability-related financial disclosures if relevant to an understanding of the current period’s sustainability-related financial disclosures.

Frequency of reporting: An entity would report its sustainability-related financial disclosures at the same time as its related financial statements and the sustainability-related financial disclosures would be for the same reporting period as the financial statements.

Location of information: An entity would disclose information required by IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards as part of its general purpose financial reporting. This can include an entity’s management commentary when management commentary forms part of an entity’s general purpose financial reporting or cross-referencing if the cross-referenced information is available to users of general purpose financial reporting on the same terms and at the same time as the general purpose financial reporting.

Sources of estimation and outcome uncertainty: When sustainability-related financial disclosures cannot be directly quantified and can only be estimated, the use of reasonable estimates is an essential part of preparing sustainability-related financial disclosure and does not undermine the usefulness of the information if the estimates are clearly and accurately described and explained. When sustainability-related financial disclosures incorporate financial data and assumptions, such financial data and assumptions would be consistent with the corresponding financial data and assumptions incorporated in the entity’s financial statements (to the extent possible).

Errors: Prior period errors are omissions from, and misstatements in, the entity’s sustainability-related financial disclosures for one or more prior periods. Unless impracticable, an entity would correct material prior period errors retrospectively in the first general purpose financial reporting authorized for issue after their discovery.

Statement of compliance: An entity whose sustainability-related financial disclosures comply with all of the relevant requirements of IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards would include an explicit and unqualified statement of compliance.

The deadline for submitting comments on these proposals is July 29, 2022.

Additional information is available on the IFRS Foundation website, including the following:

 

Other developments

March 2022

On March 31, 2022, the ISSB published the Exposure Draft, "General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information". The deadline for submitting comments on these proposals is July 29, 2022.

 

 

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