The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has released two long-awaited draft sustainability standards for public comment. One sets out general sustainability-related disclosure requirements and the other specifies climate-related disclosure requirements. These proposed drafts will accelerate progress towards disclosing consistent and comparable information on sustainability matters. Once issued, the final standards are intended to form a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability disclosures.
The ISSB anticipates a high degree of public and private sector interest in the consultation and encourages all stakeholders to engage in this 120-day period that closes on 29 July 2022. It will review feedback on the proposals in the second half of 2022. ISSB aims to issue the new Standards by the end of the year, working closely with other international organizations and jurisdictions.
The proposals set out requirements for the disclosure of material information about a company’s significant sustainability-related risks and opportunities. Investors need this information to assess a company’s enterprise value. The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) issued a statement on 31 March 2022 to confirm that it will begin an in-depth review of the draft standards with a view to “informing its potential endorsement of the final standards”.
The standards aim to provide investors and other capital market participants with appropriate data to help them make informed decisions. Although voluntary, the global reach of the standards could make them universally adopted, as investors and others push for unified comparable sustainability information relevant to their portfolios.
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