The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will launch a consultation on the future shape of its workplan during May, staff told the committee responsible for oversight of the board’s due process.
Staff member Sam Prestidge told the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation’s (IFRS Foundation) due process oversight committee (DPOC) that the consultation would determine the ISSB’s “initial two-year work plan”, focusing on four candidate projects already identified by the staff.
He added that the board would “primarily seek feedback via survey responses” in a bid to “lessen the burden onto respondents in responding” to the process.
According to a staff paper prepared for the meeting, the ISSB will decide at a future meeting whether to go ahead with the 90-day consultation period rather than the usual 120-day period.
The first three candidate projects are research into biodiversity, human capital, and human rights in value chains.
The fourth project proposal, which deals with so-called connectivity, or the link between financial and non-financial information, will focus on the overlap between sustainability reporting and the work of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
This will involve the two boards revisiting the IASB’s stalled Management Commentary project, as well as looking at ways to incorporate the Integrated Reporting Framework into the IFRS framework.
The IASB last discussed the management commentary project at its December 2022 meeting.
According to papers presented at the 1 March DPOC meeting, IASB staff have already completed an initial analysis of the similarities and differences between the Integrated Reporting Framework and the proposals in the Management Commentary exposure draft with the ISSB’s staff.
Other areas of activity to emerge during the 1 March meeting are:
- finalising the industry-specific guidance in Appendix B of IFRS 2 which deals with climate-related risks and opportunities;
- internationalising the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) rulebook to make it suitable for use by an audience beyond the US; and
- developing the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure taxonomy.
DPOC members cleared staff to release their consultation on the changes to the SASB standards on a curtailed 90-day comment period, if the ISSB decides this is the best way forward.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Faber, the chair of the ISSB told an IFRS Sustainability Symposium in Montreal last month that the board remains on track to issue its first two sustainability standards, IFRS S-1 and S-2, during the first half of this year.
Faber said: “The substance of our standards is final. We are now moving into the balloting process with a view to publishing the standards at the end of Q2 this year with an effective date of [1 January] 2024.”
His comments came ahead of the release of a briefing note in which the board summarised the progress it has made so far toward developing and publishing its new sustainability reporting rules.
The update confirms that the ISSB is also working on integrating the Integrated Reporting Framework and the IASB’s Management Commentary.