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IFRS Foundation Seeking Chair for Possible New Sustainability Standards Board

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 2, 2021

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation has put out a call seeking nominations for a chair and vice chair in the event that the foundation goes forward with forming a new Sustainability Standards Board (SSB).

The foundation first posed the idea for the SSB, which would create and maintain standards in a manner similar to the financial reporting standards it already oversees, last October as a possible way to address the fragmented landscape of sustainability reporting. The NYSSCPA, in a December comment letter, expressed support for the idea.

After having received hundreds of comment letters and conducted numerous outreach sessions on the matter, the Foundation, in February, said that there is robust demand for its involvement in the ESG (environmental, social, governance) reporting arena, but that it would not formally decide to launch a new board until this fall.

Despite ostensibly remaining unsure whether there would even be a new board, the foundation still put a lot of work into developing the idea further: In March, it detailed how such a board would work. Among other things, it would take an investor-oriented approach (rather than wider civil-society approach) to ESG standards, at least initially, and would primarily focus on climate. The foundation, in the same month, also launched a working group aimed at accelerating convergence in global sustainability reporting standards focused on enterprise value, as well as laying the technical groundwork for a possible new Sustainability Standards Board (SSB).

The call for nominations represents the latest step in the trustees’ ongoing preparatory work toward the possible establishment of the new board in advance of the November 2021 United Nations COP26 climate conference. The chair and vice-chair would be full-time positions on a 14-member board. The geographic location of the new board, if it is formed, is yet to be determined by the trustees. The establishment of a potential new board and subsequent appointments are subject to the outcome of the consultation and the trustees’ assessment that the criteria for the new board have been met.

The closing date for nominations is June 30. The recruitment process will be guided by an executive search firm appointed by the trustees. The full role specifications and how to apply are available here.

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