The government of Switzerland announced that its Federal Department of Finance has submitted a proposal to have Geneva serve as the headquarters for the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation’s (IFRS) proposed International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

The IFRS is looking to establish the ISSB in order to address the emerging need for global sustainability reporting standards. In October 2020, the IFRS initiated a consultation process seeking input on the potential formation of a global sustainability reporting standards board, and on the Foundation’s own place in that process. After receiving positive responses to its consultation paper, the IFRS launched a working group including other sustainability and standards-focused organizations, and released its views towards the strategic direction to be taken in the formation of the new ISSB, 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. 

In a letter signed by Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer and sent to the IFRS in London, Geneva is proposed as an ideal location for the headquarters, given its unique proximity to important international organisations and NGOs, and its global recognition as an independent and neutral negotiation venue.

The bid follows the recent announcement by the Swiss government of its planned timeline for mandated climate disclosure for major companies, which will see large public companies, banks and insurance companies required to report publicly on climate issues in 2024.

Canada also announced in July that it has offered to host the ISSB.