The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has reported strong support among stakeholders for its collaboration with the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS Foundation) to develop a sustainability reporting framework for public issuers.
IOSCO chair Ashley Alder said: “We are greatly encouraged by the feedback received from global stakeholders and their strong support for IOSCO´s strategic vision towards the establishment of a global sustainability reporting standard setting architecture under the IFRS Foundation.”
The backing for the initiative came during two roundtables held on 27 April and 7 May and attended by asset managers, sustainability reporting organizations, and accounting firms among others.
IOSCO reported “strong support for the key elements of IOSCO’s vision for an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) under the IFRS Foundation”, as well as “a clear willingness among participants from all stakeholder constituencies to work collaboratively with IOSCO and the IFRS Foundation to deliver this vision.”
Stakeholders also expect the planned ISSB “to deliver high-quality international sustainability-related reporting standards”, it said.
The IFRS Foundation issued a consultation in September 2020 setting out proposals to create a sustainability standards board (SSB). The proposal has received widespread support from interested parties.
The Foundation has set up a working group to prepare the ground for the establishment of an SSB.
Welcoming the move, IOSCO said it would establish its own technical expert group (TEG) within its Sustainable Finance Task Force under the joint leadership of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The purpose of the IOSCO TEG is to assess the IFRS Foundation’s progress on developing its prototype reporting framework ahead of COP26 in November.
Participants during the two roundtable meetings urged IOSCO and the IFRS Foundation working groups to examine:
- consistency and comparability through standardised metrics;
- forward-looking metrics;
- the link between financial reporting and sustainability reporting;
- industry-specific standards and metrics; and
- development of a sustainability taxonomy.
The roundtables come after the Foundation announced a public consultation on possible changes to its constitution to accommodate the possible creation of the ISSB.