Following the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS) announcement in February of plans to move forward towards the establishment of global sustainability reporting standards, the IFRS has announced the formation of a working group consisting of leading reporting standards bodies to accelerate that goal.

In October 2020, the IFRS initiated a three-month consultation, launched with the release of a paper seeking feedback on the potential formation of global sustainability reporting standards, and its own place in that process. ESG Today has reported on several of the responses from the consultation by investorsregulatorsinvestment organizations and other standards bodies. The responses were broadly supportive of the establishment of global sustainability standards, and for the IFRS to play a central role. 

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Earlier this month, the IFRS Foundation released its views towards the strategic direction to be taken in the formation of a new sustainability reporting standards board, focusing on information that is material to the decisions of investors, lenders and other creditors, beginning with climate-related issues, and extending to other ESG matters. The foundation also said that it would build on established, existing sustainability reporting frameworks, as well as work by the alliance of leading standard-setters in sustainability reporting focused on enterprise value.

With today’s announcement, the IFRS launches a working group with several of the leading disclosure standards and sustainability reporting bodies. The working group will be chaired by the IFRS Foundation, and will include participation with the foundation’s independent International Accounting Standards Board, IASB.

Other participants in the working group include the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which will bring recommendations for climate-related disclosures; the Value Reporting Foundation, the integrated reporting-focused organization intended to be formed through the merger of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB); the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), which offers a framework for integrating environmental information into financial reporting, and; the World Economic Forum (WEF), which will contribute their work on cross-industry metrics and disclosures.

The IFRS Foundation also said the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the leading international policy forum for securities regulators and the global standard setter for securities regulation, will participate in the group as an observer, and that the working group will also engage closely with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and CDP.