Unveiling the Future: Insights from the 2024 IFRS Sustainability Symposium

Jason Krychiw | March 27, 2024

Unveiling the Future: Insights from the 2024 IFRS Sustainability Symposium

Recently, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) hosted their second annual International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Sustainability Symposium in New York City.

The 2024 IFRS Sustainability Symposium saw a gathering of not only investors, corporations and their advisors, but also dozens of regulators and policymakers from around the world. This year’s edition was designed to be a gathering focused on experiences, highlighting practical takeaways and insights regarding the landscape of sustainability-related financial disclosures, and how ISSB is central to that future.

Broadly speaking, the IFRS launched ISSB in order to get all stakeholders speaking the same baseline “language” of reporting for sustainability with alignment across all jurisdictions.

To that end, ISSB was designed to be aligned and easily integrated with existing disclosures such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). As of October 2023, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) fully disbanded and asked the IFRS foundation to take over the monitoring of the progress of companies’ climate-related disclosures. These are just the first steps in ending the alphabet soup of sustainability disclosures and migrating sustainability/ESG disclosures all under one “umbrella” for financial market considerations.

Another key point of emphasis at the symposium was how ISSB is meant to enable investing in sustainability and make the process more transparent and beneficial to all parties. Currently, a large portion of data and KPIs for sustainability and climate-related risks are historical and lack context; disclosures on things like emissions or energy usage are backwards-facing without highlighting corporate strategies and goals moving forward.

While these KPIs will still be included in ISSB reporting, these standards will not only ask for disclosures of forward-looking risks, but forward-looking sustainability and climate-related opportunities as well. Investors in capital markets are specifically looking at these considerations when making decisions and the full breadth of information covered in ISSB will hopefully enable more informed decision making in capital markets.

These considerations have led to ISSB being endorsed by the International Organization of Securities Commissions and adopted across multiple jurisdictions worldwide. Alongside the recent decision by the SEC to enforce climate-related disclosures, it is not a matter of if, but when IFRS’ disclosures start to become enforced in both domestic and international markets.

Jason Krychiw

Jason Krychiw

Jason is an ESG consultant at Conservice. He has extensive experience working with ESG frameworks like GRESB and CDP, facilitating initiatives such as materiality assessments, & supporting ESG policy development.

Subscribe. Learn. Stay Ahead.