IOSCO published a report on the sustainability-related disclosures of corporate issuers. The report, which is prepared by the Sustainable Finance Taskforce, focuses on three priority improvement areas in corporates’ sustainability-related disclosures and presents the IOSCO vision for how these priorities could be delivered by the International Sustainability Standards Board. The priority areas encompass encouraging globally consistent standards, promoting comparable metrics and narratives, and coordinating across approaches. The report also sets out the vision of IOSCO for a global corporate reporting architecture to deliver on these priority improvements. The report presents an indicative timeline for delivering the priority improvements, which span until June 2022.
Among others, the report summarizes the work that IOSCO has done to develop its vision for an International Sustainability Standards Board under the IFRS Foundation. It considers the materiality lens for sustainability-related reporting standards, which has been an important topic of discussion in the context of ongoing sustainability reporting initiatives. It demonstrates investor demand for sustainability-related information and evidence that this demand is not being properly met. It also demonstrates the need for improvements in the current landscape of sustainability standard-setting. The report identifies core elements of standard-setting that could help meet investor needs and provides input to the IFRS Foundation on governance features and mechanisms for stakeholder engagement, which will be essential to making the International Sustainability Standards Board initiative successful. This report is a crucial part of the IOSCO engagement with the IFRS Foundation. IOSCO looks forward to further collaboration with the IFRS Foundation Trustees as they continue their technical preparations and assess possible constitutional changes toward establishing an International Sustainability Standards Board by November 2021. The report also discusses the Taskforce's next steps on sustainability-related financial disclosures of corporate issuers and these steps comprise the following key strands of work:
- Monitoring the IFRS Foundation Trustees’ plans for the design and establishment of the International Sustainability Standards Board, including playing a leading role in the Monitoring Board of the IFRS Foundation.
- Provided IOSCO’s expectations are satisfied, considering market acceptance of the International Sustainability Standards Board’s future standards and setting a pathway for the International Sustainability Standards Board’s sustainability reporting standards to serve as the baseline for consistent and comparable approaches to mandatory sustainability-related disclosures across jurisdictions, in light of domestic legal frameworks.
- Supporting the practical implementation of the building blocks approach, including working with the IFRS Foundation on the design of a multi-stakeholder consultative committee as well as with key jurisdictions and other stakeholders across the official and private sectors.
- Developing approaches to support securities regulators’ supervision of sustainability-related disclosures once the ISSB’s reporting standards are in place.
- Influencing the development of an audit and assurance framework and related standards for corporate sustainability-related disclosures.
- Overseeing the transition to the "steady state" for IFRS sustainability-related financial reporting standards, including expansion of the scope of the International Sustainability Standards Board standards beyond climate change.
- Contributing securities regulators’ perspectives as part of the ongoing development of sustainability-related reporting standards, including input to post implementation reviews of the International Sustainability Standards Board’s governance structure and standards.
IOSCO anticipates significant progress in delivering the key elements of its vision over the coming months to help address the priorities for improvement identified by IOSCO.
Keywords: International, Banking, Securities, Disclosures, Climate Change Risk, ESG, Sustainability Standards Board, Sustainable Finance, Reporting, IFRS, IOSCO
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