The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has recently announced its first two finalised standards: S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information, and S2 Climate-related Disclosures.
The standards are intended to provide a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability disclosures, specifically focused on the needs of investors and the financial markets, something that investors have long desired.
Below, we share insights from industry experts into the launch of these new standards.
Klaas Knot, chair of the Financial Stability Board, said:
“I welcome the publication today by the ISSB of its final standards on general sustainability-related disclosures and on climate-related disclosures. The publication of the ISSB standards marks an important milestone for achieving globally consistent disclosures.”
Jean-Paul Servais, chair of the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO), said:
“IOSCO has been actively involved in the IFRS Foundation’s consideration of whether and how to apply its trusted reputation and internationally renowned global standard-setting process to the topic of sustainability disclosures. We commend the leadership of the ISSB for the pace and quality of their work. IOSCO is conducting an independent assessment of the ISSB Standards, with a view to completing this review promptly.”
Richard Manley and Carine Smith Ihenacho, chair and vice-chair of the ISSB Investor Advisory Group, have welcomed the launch of IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 via a statement, commenting:
“High-quality data is necessary to support price discovery and capital formation, and facilitates efficient capital markets. ISSB Standards will equally support preparers in communicating sustainability information to their investors and other providers of capital.”
Eelco van der Enden, CEO of GRI said:
“I congratulate the ISSB on reaching this significant milestone. I believe the new IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards will have an important role in ensuring that the risks and opportunities related to sustainability issues are firmly anchored in the decision-making of investors.
“Our respective standards have distinct yet complementary purposes; with GRI ensuring transparency on an organisations’ impacts on people and planet, while the ISSB is focused on supporting efficient and resilient capital markets. Taken together, I believe our standards can provide the complete picture on sustainability impacts and performance.”
Mary Schapiro, head of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) secretariat and vice chair for Global Public Policy at Bloomberg L.P., said:
“The global economy needs common reporting standards to reduce fragmentation and drive comparability in climate-related financial data. Built upon the foundation of the TCFD framework, the ISSB Standards provide a global baseline for companies to disclose decision-useful, climate-related financial information—information that is critical for creating more transparent markets, helping achieve a smooth low-carbon transition, and building a more resilient and sustainable global economy.”
Ilham Kadri, executive committee chair, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, said:
“I commend and applaud the ISSB for issuing both the climate-related and the general requirements disclosures standards: companies and investors are in dire need to have a common language to report and value their climate and social sustainability strategies.”
Nicolette Bartlett, chief impact officer, said:
“CDP welcomes the release of the ISSB standards and is delighted to support the rapid implementation of the S2 climate standard across the global economy by incorporating it into our disclosure system from 2024. This means that from next year all companies disclosing through CDP (18,700 in 2022, worth half of global market capitalisation) will be asked to disclose against the ISSB climate standard. This will enable simplified and streamlined reporting for companies, in turn providing data to a range of stakeholders in a way that is consistent and comparable across regions and regulatory requirements.”
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, World Economic Forum, said:
“The publication of the first two ISSB Standards represents a vital step forward in establishing a global baseline for sustainability reporting. Consistent and comparable sustainability information, paired with financial information, empowers investors and stakeholders to gain a comprehensive understanding of a company’s performance and their commitment to driving sustainable value creation. We look forward to our continued collaboration.”
Woochong Um, managing director general, Asian Development Bank, said:
“We welcome the inaugural IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards which deliver a global baseline of sustainability-related financial disclosures that have the potential to enhance Asian capital markets through attracting more investment and boosting private sector development in Asia. We encourage Asian Development Bank members to give their consideration to the adoption of the Standards.”
Jean-François van Boxmeer, chair, European Round Table for Industry (ERT) and chair, Vodafone Group, said:
“ERT has strongly supported the ISSB and the development of a single trusted set of global standards for sustainability reporting. Global alignment is crucial to provide a comprehensive and clear view of a company’s sustainability performance and to allow for the comparability of disclosures on a global level.
“Separate and differing sets of standards for sustainability reporting in different jurisdictions would lead to a de facto double reporting for preparers and, consequently, unnecessary additional costs and reduced validity and comparability for users. We therefore strongly encourage jurisdictions around the globe, including the EU, to take on board the ISSB standards and to integrate them into their own regulatory framework.”
James Alexander, chief executive UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) :
“As a global leader on climate-related disclosure, the full, swift adoption by the UK government of the ISSB’s standards represents a natural, next step in the UK’s climate leadership. The government should now consult with the market, as soon as possible, on the full implementation of the ISSB’s standards across the economy. We look forward to engaging with the government to finalise an implementation timeline, as well as navigating the standards’ interaction with the UK’s upcoming economy-wide Sustainable Disclosure Requirements (SDRs) and other rules.”
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