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Sustainable Business

Sustainability Frameworks / Standards

IFRS Foundation’s International Sustainability Standards

  • In 2022, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will develop IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, including disclosure requirements that address companies’ impacts on sustainability matters relevant to assessing enterprise value and making investment decisions. 
  • The IFRS Foundation will complete consolidation of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB—an initiative of CDP) and the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF—which houses the Integrated Reporting Framework and the SASB Standards) by June 2022.
  • IFRS® Standards are set by the International Accounting Standards Board (Board) and are used primarily by publicly traded companies.
  • The Board has also developed the IFRS for SMEs® Standard, which is used by small and medium-sized companies without public accountability.

Global Reporting Initiative GRI Standards

  • Founded in 1997, GRI is the global standard-setter for impact reporting.
  • In 2000, GRI created the first set of sustainability standards in the world.
  • In 2016, GRI transitioned from providing guidelines to setting the first global standards for sustainability reporting – the GRI Standards. The Standards continue to be updated and added to, including new topic standards on Tax (2019) and Waste (2020).
  • The newest GRI Standards developed three series (economic, environmental, and social) of 34 topic-specific standards to help companies report on the most material issues to their investors and other stakeholders.
  • The GRI Standards is a modular system of interconnected standards. Three series of Standards support the reporting process: the GRI Universal Standards, which apply to all organizations; the GRI Sector Standards, applicable to specific sectors; and the GRI Topic Standards, each listing disclosures relevant to a particular topic.

Value Reporting Foundation’s SASB Standards

  • Founded in 2011, SASB is a nonprofit organization that develops industry-specific sustainability accounting standards. 
  • In 2018, SASB published a comprehensive set of standards, 77 in all, covering 26 general ESG issue categories.
  • SASB creates separate ESG reporting standards for each industry.
  • SASB was primarily designed with investors in mind. As a result, the SASB standards place a strong emphasis on ESG issues that are projected to have a significant financial impact.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations 

  • The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) guides companies on disclosing climate-related financial risks to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders. The guidance identifies multiple climate-related risks and opportunities to disclose.
  • The Task Force consists of 31 members from across the G20, representing both preparers and users of financial disclosures. The TCFD is chaired by Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P.
  • Recommendations are employed by over 3,000 organizations worldwide.

Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) 

  • On January 1, 2022, the European Union Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) went into effect, requiring investment firms to declare activities that have a negative impact on biodiversity-sensitive areas.
  • The EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan, and its key component, the SFDR, aims to direct trillions of euros into sustainable investing.