The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has voted to issue an update to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) legacy standards.
The proposed changes aim to make the standards more suitable for an international audience, rather than focusing primarily on North American capital markets.
In response to critics’ concerns about its US bias, the ISSB released a 38-page draft on May 11, outlining a five-step plan to review and update the SASB standards. The first step involves removing references that are specific to particular jurisdictions.
Other proposed changes include replacing jurisdiction-specific language, removing disclosure metrics that are not suitable for global use, and providing more general references for standards, definitions, and calculation processes.
‘The ISSB is committed to maintaining and enhancing the SASB Standards so that they continue to be effective in supporting companies to deliver industry-based sustainability disclosures to investors,’ says Jeffrey Hales, chair of the ISSB’s SASB Standards Board Advisor Group.
‘Through this project, we hope to make it easier for companies to apply the SASB Standards, regardless of where they operate, and help companies applying IFRS S1 to produce comparable and decision-useful disclosures.’
The SASB standards have so far been widely adopted, with over 2,700 companies in 70 countries using the framework for sustainability reporting and will play a crucial role in the ISSB’s upcoming IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 standards.
The ISSB has invited public comments on the proposal, which will remain open until August 9, 2023.
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