ACCA welcomes the launch of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)

Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA and co vice-chair of the Value Reporting Foundation Board, says about the ISSB: ‘This development means we now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to help shape global reporting standards for the benefit of investors, economies and the public good.

‘In December 2020, we expressed strong support for the creation of the ISSB. This is needed to address the scale of global environmental and social challenges today, accelerate the necessary reallocation of capital, and drive positive changes in corporate decision-making.’

As co-vice chair of the VRF Board, Helen Brand adds: ‘With the global reach of the International Integrated Reporting Framework and the SASB Standards, the VRF can help the ISSB to achieve much-needed consistency in reporting across the world. The IFRS Foundation’s commitment to build connectivity between financial and sustainability reporting using the principles of integrated reporting is particularly welcome. We believe that this is vital to high-quality connected corporate reporting.’

ACCA has also published today a policy paper called Principles for connected corporate reporting standard setting which calls for a consistent and connected set of global reporting standards and aligns to much of what the ISSB and the VRF will be doing. The paper calls on policymakers, regulators and standards-setters to:

  • develop requirements for high-quality reporting outside of the financial statements that is coherent and connects with financial reporting requirements
  • cooperate multilaterally to ensure that reporting requirements are consistent and interoperable across borders
  • align requirements with the global standards produced by the IFRS Foundation and the International <IR> Framework
  • base requirements on shared definitions for key terms, including ‘sustainability,’ ‘sustainability reporting’ and ‘enterprise value’
  • consider the cost and benefits in mandating reporting requirements and avoid disclosure overload
  • leverage technology but without losing sight of the context of companies’ governance, strategy, and business model
  • connect reporting requirements with other policy levers to ensure that business resources are not focused on reporting compliance but on transforming business models for a just and green transition.