World Economic Forum and ISSB Partner to Compile Learnings on Early Sustainability Reporting Efforts

06 Jun 2023

Madeleine Hillyer, Media Relations and Public Affairs,

  • World Economic Forum continues its work with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) by convening a group of sustainability professionals focused on sharing best practices and practicalities of adopting ISSB standards
  • New group to provide insights and practical examples to ISSB after release of the ISSB’s first sustainability standards at end of June
  • Collaboration builds on the Forum's Stakeholder Metrics initiative and previous work with the IFRS Foundation and is supported by a new Memorandum of Understanding between the World Economic Forum and ISSB
  • Read more about the Stakeholder Metrics initiative here

Geneva, Switzerland, 6 June 2023 – The World Economic Forum announced today that it is to form a Forum ISSB Preparers Group comprising corporate leaders with diverse expertise in sustainability reporting. The group will offer insights and corporate perspectives to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) following the release of its first sustainability standards in the coming weeks.

On 2 June, this partnership was formalized by an MoU signed by World Economic Forum Managing Directors Olivier Schwab and Gim Huay Neo, and Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the Trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation. The Preparers Group will continue the collaborative work of the World Economic Forum and ISSB to achieve a comprehensive global baseline for sustainability reporting.

The group will share insights and best practices from corporations reporting on forthcoming ISSB Standards with a focus on building capacity among companies to facilitate extensive and high-quality adoption of the standards.

As the world gets closer to universal sustainability reporting standards, it is important for businesses, policy-makers and other leaders to ensure that businesses from across all regions are ready and able to effectively report on a common set of sustainability disclosures,” said Olivier Schwab, Managing Director, World Economic Forum. “Learnings from the Stakeholder Metrics initiative started at the World Economic Forum are already demonstrating that consistent and comparable sustainability reporting is possible and an effective way to ensure companies remain committed to their sustainability goals.”

“The World Economic Forum played an important role convening business engagement in the creation of the ISSB, whilst the Stakeholder Metrics are embedded within the ISSB’s inaugural standards, due to be published later this month,” said Erkki Liikanen, Chair of Trustees, IFRS Foundation. “I thank the Forum Leadership for their ongoing support for our work.”

The Preparers Group will take learnings from corporate leaders who are early adopters of IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards and share the following insights with the ISSB and other companies:

  • Perspectives from preparers of corporate sustainability reporting through direct engagement with the ISSB
  • Insights into best practices when applying the Standards
  • Feedback on the feasibility and practicability of the application of the Standards, including the potential need for further guidance
  • Feedback on guidance material
  • Insight into corporate reporting transformations in response to the ISSB’s disclosure requirements

The new group will consist of up to 20 senior preparers of corporate reporting, representing organizations that are part of the Forum’s community of practitioners. Through convenings with the ISSB, the group will be geared towards supporting the global application of the ISSB Standards as they are developed. The Forum also looks to draw on the group’s knowledge and expertise to build a library of practical examples of sustainability reporting best practices that companies moving into reporting can lean on.

Additionally, the MoU between the World Economic Forum and ISSB lays out further areas of collaboration, including activities and plans in support of achieving the global baseline of sustainability disclosures, particularly on capacity building. This includes providing case studies and perspectives from companies on their own experiences.

Learnings will also be drawn from the World Economic Forum’s Stakeholder Metrics initiative, which has served as a “readiness tool” for companies interested in preparing for reporting on ISSB Standards.

The MoU builds on the Forum’s earlier work with the IFRS Foundation as a member of the Technical Readiness Working Group, which helped lay the foundations for the establishment of the ISSB. The Forum contributed its thinking on Stakeholder Metrics and provided a business voice to support the development of the two prototype disclosure standards launched at COP26.

Notes to editors
Learn more about the Stakeholder Metrics initiative here
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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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