In response to the demand from investors and businesses to simplify the global sustainability disclosure landscape, the IFRS Foundation formed the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), bringing together the Climate Disclosure Standards Board and the Value Reporting Foundation (which housed the SASB Standards and the Integrated Reporting Framework). The ISSB is developing a global baseline of sustainability-related disclosure standards (the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards) and a taxonomy to facilitate digital reporting, building upon the existing work of market-led investor-focused reporting initiatives, including the SASB Standards, the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the World Economic Forum. IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards will enable companies to provide comprehensive information about sustainability matters to the financial markets, emphasizing consistency and connectivity between financial statements and sustainability-related disclosures.
IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards direct companies to the industry-based SASB Standards as priority materials for identifying sustainability risks and opportunities. Specifically:
- In IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information, to help companies identify their sustainability-related risks and opportunities and provide appropriate disclosures using IFRS S1, companies are required to refer to and consider the applicability of the industry-based SASB Standards for topics beyond climate.
- IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures is based on the TCFD Recommendations and includes industry-specific climate metrics derived from the SASB Standards as accompanying guidance.
SASB Standards can be used to provide investor-focused sustainability disclosures in the absence of specific IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. Similarly, SASB Standards enable robust implementation of the Integrated Reporting Framework, providing the comparability sought by investors.
Other sustainability-related disclosure frameworks serve their own unique purposes, and ultimately, companies must evaluate and decide which meet the needs of their key stakeholders.