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International Sustainability Standards: Understanding ISSB’s IFRS S1 & IFRS S2

02/06/2024 | Reading time: 3 minutes

In the fast-evolving landscape of global sustainability reporting, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has emerged as a key player, providing businesses with a standardized framework for disclosure. The ISSB’s mission, established in 2021 at the UN’s 26th Conference of the Parties (COP 26), is to develop universal sustainability reporting standards, addressing the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

ISSB’s Mission: Fostering Transparency and Consistency

The ISSB’s overarching goal is to ensure that businesses worldwide transparently communicate their sustainability impacts. This consistency aids stakeholders in managing sustainability-related risks and opportunities effectively. Find in the following, the potential benefits these standards offer to businesses.

Decoding the ISSB Standards: IFRS S1 and S2

The ISSB’s recent release of two standards, IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, marks a significant step forward. IFRS S1 provides a comprehensive framework for general sustainability-related disclosures, covering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics. Simultaneously, IFRS S2 focuses specifically on climate, offering detailed guidelines for reporting climate-related financial risks and opportunities. These standards serve as a benchmark for global sustainability reporting efforts.

Interoperability and Global Consensus

A notable aspect of the ISSB standards is their compatibility with existing frameworks such as the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). This alignment ensures comparability and standardization in reporting practices, gaining support from global supervisors like the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Business Implications: Shaping Reporting Practices and Policies

The ISSB’s standards have far-reaching implications, setting the tone for how businesses approach sustainability reporting. As countries and regions align their sustainability goals with global benchmarks, the ISSB’s standards become a crucial reference point. Moreover, businesses demonstrating commitment to sustainability through clear reports may gain a competitive edge as consumers increasingly consider environmental and social impacts in their choices.

The Role of Technology in Sustainability Reporting

Given the complexity of sustainability reporting, technology plays a vital role. Advanced analytics, AI-driven insights, and cloud-based solutions can streamline data collection and reporting processes. Leveraging these technologies can enhance the accuracy of sustainability metrics, making reports more meaningful for stakeholders. Find out in our case studies how to leverage technology to successfully drive climate transformation of your company.

Charting the Course for Tomorrow’s Reporting

As businesses navigate this new reporting landscape, understanding IFRS S1 and S2 becomes essential. Proactive steps such as investing in training programs, engaging with stakeholders and collecting data can position businesses as leaders in the sustainable transformation. While the journey may pose challenges, especially for SMEs, it presents an opportunity to express commitment to sustainability and attract investments.

In conclusion, the ISSB’s IFRS S1 and S2 standards represent a new chapter in global sustainability reporting. As businesses and markets adapt to this transformative era, staying informed and agile will be key to driving positive change and ensuring a sustainable future for all.

Learn more about how to use Climate Intelligence to face emerging reporting challenges and master climate transformation along your value chain in the Scope 3 Action Group. Participants gain insights and develop a Scope 3 action plan to drive the necessary system-wide changes for a sustainable future.