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New working group launched on sustainability reporting

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 25 Mar 2021

A working group to accelerate convergence in global sustainability reporting standards has been announced by the Trustees of the IFRS Foundation.

The working group will be focused on enterprise value and will undertake technical preparation for a potential international sustainability reporting standards board under the governance of the IFRS Foundation.

The group will provide technical recommendations and further develop the prototype built on the TCFD recommendations as a potential basis for the new board to build on existing initiatives and develop standards for climate-related reporting and other sustainability topics. The working group, chaired by the IFRS Foundation and including participation by the IASB, will also consider how technical expertise and content might be transitioned to the new board under the IFRS Foundation’s governance structure. IOSCO will participate in the group as an observer.

Participants in the working group include TCFD, the Value Reporting Foundation (which represents the intended merger of the International Integrated Reporting Council and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB). The World Economic Forum will also contribute. The working group will also engage closely with the Global Reporting Initiative and CDP.

Clara Barby will take partial leave from the Impact Management Project to be the project lead for the IFRS Foundation’s sustainability project, under the oversight and strategic direction of the IFRS Foundation’s Steering Committee of Trustees. 

Commenting on the working group, Mardi McBrien, Managing Director of CDSB, said: “The purpose of the CDSB was to develop a framework that can be adopted by authoritative bodies like the IFRS Foundation. That is why I am delighted that the IFRS Foundation announcement on the formation of a working group to accelerate convergence in global sustainability reporting standards focused on enterprise value.”

She continued: “We look forward to collaborating with other partners on enterprise value creation in the working group. Harmonisation, working in partnership and not re-inventing the wheel are values that sit at the heart of CDSB and all the work we do. By working in a coordinated manner, we can get further, faster. We’re ready for the road ahead.”

Ravi Abeywardana ACA, Technical Director of CDSB, said: “The challenge ahead of us is immense and requires all our combined and coordinated efforts. The formation of the IFRS working group and IFRS’s mandate to focus on disclosures that are financially material to investors is an important first step.”

He went on: “At CDSB, we recognise that we are stronger as a group than individually. And while working group partners each have their own approach to ESG standards and reporting, much of our technical content is complementary rather than overlapping. This is clear in a recent ‘Statement of Intent to Work Together Towards Comprehensive Corporate Reporting’ by the Five and IFRS look to build on the prototype built on the TCFD recommendation, all of which was facilitated by the Impact Management Project, the World Economic Forum, and Deloitte.”

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