The current fragmented ESG disclosure landscape has eroded investor confidence in the reliability, consistency and comparability of climate-related disclosures, despite significant investment by disclosing entities. The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Sustainability Disclosure Standards will address this threat by creating a global common, consistent language for sustainability-related financial disclosures – a global baseline that can be included in national jurisdictional requirements.
According to the EY report, Navigating the new frontier of sustainability standards, getting ready for the proposed sustainability disclosure requirements will be a testing time for many organisations.
There’s no doubt that the change being wrought by the ISSB will be a net good. The robust data gathered for disclosure purposes will also support organisations to confidently make decisions and investments that mitigate climate risk and support decarbonisation. The strong connection with financials will make sustainability core to business in a way that we have yet to see in Oceania, even in the most committed, ”green” organisations.
However, the mandate to disclose the financial impact of climate change and decarbonisation risks and opportunities will necessitate sustainability data being sufficiently robust to withstand internal and external audit – and available within much more pressing timeframes.