Environmental, Social, and Governance


Corporate Reporting: Climate Change Information and the 2021 Reporting Cycle

Significant global attention on how business and capital markets are responding to the climate crisis, including increasing regulatory and investor scrutiny, challenges professional accountants—in business and in professional practice—to play an active role in determining the way climate change information is reported in the upcoming 2021 reporting cycle and is enhanced in future years. Although financial reporting standards have not changed, investors and other stakeholders now consider climate change to be a material issue that can have financial consequences for most companies.


Achieving net zero emissions in an organization will rely on the knowledge, skills and processes inherent within the finance function. Where an organization has made a net zero commitment, finance professionals are well placed to develop pathways to achieve net zero, setting interim targets, allocating funds, reporting progress and integrating net zero into decision making processes over time.

A PDF version of this publication is attached here: Navigating the ESG landscape (PDF 314kb)

After years of increasingly vocal demand for enhanced transparency about ESG matters from investors and other stakeholders, regulators and standard setters in various jurisdictions issued definitive proposals to transform ESG reporting in 2022. So far this year, proposed ESG disclosures have been released in the European Union (EU) as part of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), internationally by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), and in the US by the SEC. These “big three” proposals would each require expansive sustainability disclosures — although their proposed scopes and other details vary. All three proposals were subject to public comment periods that have now closed.
With a global network of reporting requirements that encompass a broad spectrum of value chain contributors, it is likely that most companies will find themselves impacted by one or more of the proposed disclosure regimes. Proactive companies are in the process of assessing the scope and applicability of the proposals so that the appropriate planning can begin now. An SEC registrant that has a subsidiary listed in the EU and a subsidiary in a jurisdiction that requires ISSB reporting, for example, may be subject to the requirements in all three proposals. With equivalency — that is, whether disclosures for one reporting framework can satisfy some or all of the requirements of another — not yet determined, companies captured in multiple reporting regimes have a vested interest in understanding which reporting applies and where it aligns and diverges. Understanding the similarities and differences will help companies develop the requisite reporting strategy, data gathering processes, and related controls, providing for a streamlined process and effective deployment of resources.
This publication compares and contrasts key provisions among the three proposals. We offer our perspectives on the proposals, including some of the suggestions we have made to each regulator or standard setter to enhance operability. By understanding the requirements of the different proposals, preparers can develop the appropriate reporting strategy, one designed to capture the right data the first time.

Investor Interviews on Climate Disclosure and Decision-Making - Key Findings

Investors recognize that a transition to a low-carbon economy is happening, bringing significant investment opportunities and risks. Are you prepared to respond with the information they need?



IFAC Comment: A strong governance structure is one of the key elements necessary for the successful growth of any organization. IFAC considers effective and transparent governance fundamental for building trust and for achieving its strategic objectives. Many of our member organizations have led the way on strong governance practices and diversity initiatives, but there are often opportunities for making further enhancements and for empowering others. It is important to periodically review and consider best practices, adopting those that would be most effective for your organization based on its values, mission, purpose, and strategy.

The cornerstone of strong governance is strong leadership, starting with the Board of Directors. The role of a Board is to provide strategic guidance and oversight of operations. This ensures an organization makes an unyielding commitment to integrity and takes purposeful steps to achieve its mission. Given the Board’s key role, it is critical for the Board to collectively represent the best mix of expertise and experience.

In this Q&A article, we explore the important qualities any Board member should have and the key components of an effective Board. Joan Amble shares insights from her extensive experience on corporate Boards to help us reflect on our own governance structure, positioning our organizations for success, and being prepared for challenges. Joan offers her personal views, which are not attributed to any particular organization.


The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation have confirmed the appointment of seven organisations and representatives to the Sustainability Consultative Committee (SCC). This follows the completion of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) member appointments announced in August.

The SCC is formed of four permanent multilateral member organisations―the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations and the World Bank. Alongside these permanent organisations, seven additional expert members have now been appointed.

Leading Financial Market Participants Call for Stronger Alignment of Regulatory and Standard Setting Efforts around Sustainability Disclosure.

Clear, comprehensive and comparable disclosure of sustainability-related information is one of the foundational building blocks of a well-functioning global financial system. Financial market regulators should seize this historical and fast-closing window of opportunity to get it right by ensuring compatible standards.

Significant efforts by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the European Commission together with the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), all aim to address the need to enhance and evolve corporate reporting to include and consider sustainability

The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation (Foundation) today published proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Foundation to accommodate the potential formation of a new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) within the governance structure of the organization. In addition, the Trustees have published a Feedback Statement that summaries feedback received to their consultation on sustainability reporting.


Today, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) published a revised building blocks approach to reporting sustainability information—enhancing its previously issued roadmap, The Way Forward. IFAC hopes to foster discussion on how this approach can deliver a global system for consistent, comparable, and assurable sustainability-related information that best meets the needs of investors and other stakeholders.

IFAC CEO Kevin Dancey said, “As the IFRS Foundation continues to consider establishing a new International Sustainability Standards Board and as jurisdiction-specific initiatives progress, IFAC is lending its voice to clarify how components can best fit together to meet the needs of all stakeholders. The IFRS initiative—as well as jurisdiction-specific initiatives—should build on what already exists, help create or contribute to a global system, and accommodate different views of what information stakeholders require. The building blocks approach makes this possible.”

IFAC supports a new standard-setting board under the IFRS Foundation that can lead to the coordination and harmonization of reporting and provide a baseline of requirements addressing sustainability information that is material to enterprise value. The IFRS Foundation has proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Foundation as it continues to consider establishing a new board. IFAC encourages its member organizations to submit comments to this IFRS Foundation consultation.

IFAC welcomes feedback on the building blocks approach and plans to engage with stakeholders at future IFAC events addressing the broader journey to an enhanced corporate reporting world.


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