CFOs call for global sustainability disclosure standards

Over 80 CFOs have united in calling for global alignment on the current proposals regarding sustainability disclosures

Companies such as Burberry, Caterpillar, Chanel, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Verizon were all involved.

In a letter to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) members of Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) stressed the importance of creating a single global framework rather than a fragmented approach to sustainability standards.

The signatories set out six recommendations for the framework.  

Firstly, A4S wants the ISSB to align with the relevant and existing sustainability reporting standards, ensuring harmonisation to the greatest extent possible. The ISSB should also consider industry-specific materiality in assessments, recognising that investors may need disclosures on broader social and environmental impacts.

Jessica Fries, A4S’s executive chair, said: ‘Reporting is not an end in itself. Global alignment on sustainability disclosure standards is needed so that organisations can focus on action, rather than reconciling the ‘alphabet soup’ of requirements across jurisdictions.’

A4S is also calling for clear definitions and guidelines on reporting, a disclosure that should be transparent and consistent. It should enable and encourage a continued focus on setting science-based, ambitious targets, encouraging firms to increase action to achieve them.

Zurich’s group chief financial officer, George Quinn, added: ‘Businesses and investors need transparency and consistency to be able to invest in a sustainable future. The adoption of a common set of sustainability standards is pivotal in meeting these needs and no one is better positioned than the ISSB to play this role globally.’

It should promote integrated thinking as illustrated through frameworks such as the Integrated Reporting Framework. Finally, environmental, social and economic issues that materially impact decision making should be addressed.

‘Let’s seize the opportunity to achieve global alignment through the proposed ISSB standards so that companies and investors can focus on action,’ said Quinn.

The consultation on ISSB standards closes for comment on 29 July 2022.

 

 

Max Austin |Reporter, Accountancy Daily 

Max Austin is a reporter at Accountancy Daily.If you have any news stories, please email me at: ...

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