The IFRS Foundation Trustees announced today the appointment of Sustainalytics founder and former CEO Michael Jantzi and SASB Standards Board Chair Jeffrey Hales as members of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).
Launched in November 2021 at the COP26 climate conference, the ISSB aims to develop IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, in order to provide a global baseline of disclosure requirements that can be used by jurisdictions on a standalone basis or incorporated into broader reporting frameworks. In March, the ISSB released the first exposure drafts of proposed standards for company sustainability and climate related disclosures.
With today’s announcement, the ISSB has now reached its quorum threshold of 8 members, allowing the organization to formally operate.
Emmanuel Faber, ISSB Chair, said:
“With today’s announcement, the ISSB has reached a quorum. Jeff and Michael bring significant sustainability, investment and standard-setting expertise to the ISSB. I’m thrilled to have them on board.”
Jantzi led a multiple-company merger that formed ESG ratings and research provider Sustainalytics in 2009, and he currently serves as Managing Director of ESG Strategy at investment research firm Morningstar, which acquired Sustainalytics in 2020. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Principles for Responsible Investment the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF), which is currently being integrated into the IFRS.
“The ISSB announcement was a historic milestone towards much-needed alignment of sustainability disclosures around the world. I am excited to join the ISSB and look forward to working with the other board members to deliver sustainability disclosures that meet the information needs of the capital markets.”
Hales is a professor of accounting at the University of Texas in Austin, and has served since 2018 as chair of the SASB Standards Board, which is accountable for the due process, outcomes, and ratification of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards. SASB was created with the mission to establish industry-specific ESG disclosure standards for companies, and merged with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) last year to form the VRF. Hales has also served as an academic research fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board and as a member of its Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council, as well as a member of the Climate Disclosure Standard Board, now consolidated into the IFRS Foundation.
“As a strong advocate of private-sector standard-setting, I fully support the IFRS Foundation’s mission, the formation of the ISSB, and its commitment to build upon SASB Standards. I am honoured to be an inaugural ISSB member and look forward to working with my fellow board members and stakeholders to help meet investors’ pressing needs for rigorous, relevant and comparable sustainability-related financial information.”
According to the announcement from the IFRS Foundation, further announcements are anticipated in the coming weeks to the ISSB, with the board anticipated to reach its full complement of 14 members during the third quarter of 2022.
Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, said:
“Guided by an international search firm, the Trustees have followed a thorough and extensive appointment process―reflecting the importance of this work. I welcome Jeff and Michael to the ISSB.”