How sustainability disclosures are evolving and the prospects for convergence

In this episode, the speakers discuss what we can expect from the ISSB and how it will impact the future of ESG disclosures for businesses.

The current global nonfinancial disclosures landscape is highly fragmented with a variety of different bodies evolving reporting frameworks. Will the new ISSB standards accelerate their convergence into mandatory globally accepted ESG reporting standards?

In the final episode of the miniseries on disclosures, host Bruno Sarda is joined by Terence Jeyararetnam, EY Asia-Pacific Leader and Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services at Ernst & Young (the Partnership), and a member of the ISSB’s Technical Reference Group.

The discussion begins with the analysis of the different frameworks already in existence from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and others. Many businesses have already adopted these, but there is pressure from regulators, investors and other stakeholders for frameworks to be standardized and mandated. Voluntary reporting is not taking businesses far enough to reduce their impact on climate and nature.

The ISSB has an important role in accelerating this, and the hosts discuss whether the aggressive timeline for introducing the ISSB standards is realistic, what resistance is likely and what the prospects are for global acceptance. They also talk about how the new standards from the US SEC and the EU CSRD frameworks will fall into the picture.

Companies should prepare for a potential new reality, where ESG reporting could be as rigorous and mandated as financial reporting. Bruno and Terence discuss the need for culture change and the key role of the CFO in gathering and managing the ESG data.

Key takeaways:

  • The current nonfinancial disclosures landscape is fragmented with a variety of voluntary frameworks.
  • A unified globally accepted standard for ESG reporting is necessary, as the current voluntary reporting environment is not working fast enough to address the impacts on nature and climate.
  • Demand for convergence is coming from investors, governments and other stakeholders.
  • The ISSB aims to produce globally accepted standards, starting with climate, but extending to biodiversity as well.
  • Businesses can prepare by building on existing reporting and evolving its culture and learning.
  • The CFO is expected to play a key role, expanding their responsibility to include ESG data.

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For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. 


Season 4, Episode 10


27m 57s