IFAC calls for IASB sister board for setting global sustainability standards

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11 Sep, 2020

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released 'Enhancing Corporate Reporting: The Way Forward' calling for the creation of a new sustainability standards board that would exist alongside the IASB under the IFRS Foundation.

IFAC calls for the IFRS Foundation to create an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). This new Board could leverage the independence and success of IFRS governance to develop global standards and rationalise the current fragmented ecosystem. As with the IASB, clear support from global institutions like IOSCO and appropriate funding would be critical to success. Under the structure the IFAC envisions, the IASB would remain focused on financial reporting standards and coordinate with the ISSB to avoid overlaps and gaps.

The ISSB itself would adopt a “building blocks” approach, working with and leveraging the expertise and disclosure requirements of leading initiatives, including CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC, and SASB. These building blocks would consist of:

  • Requirements for material non-financial information focused on company performance, risk profile, economic decisions and enterprise value creation.
  • Collaboration with respect to reporting requirements designed to address broader, material sustainable development and company impacts on economy, environment, and people. These requirements may ultimately be incorporated or endorsed into ISSB standards.
  • Supplemental jurisdictional requirements to support local public accountability.

Financial and non-financial information would be connected through a common conceptual framework.

The IFAC notes that the time for a global solution is now — to answer the demand from investors, policymakers and other stakeholders for a reporting system that delivers consistent, comparable, reliable, and assurable information relevant to enterprise value creation, sustainable development and evolving expectations. A fragmented approach would perpetuate inefficiency, increased cost, and a lack of trust. Therefore, the IFAC argues, that important work that is currently underway should be continued, but with the aim of ultimately contributing to the emerging global system.

Please click to access Enhancing Corporate Reporting: The Way Forward on the IFAC website.

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