New ISSB Chair interviewed
Emmanuel Faber, inaugural Chair of the newly created International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), outlines his experience and interests as well as his ambitions for the ISSB in a recent interview.
Asked what success would look like in the first year, he states: “Our mandate and strategic direction set out by the IFRS Foundation Trustees are clear. Success is getting a diverse and inclusive ISSB up and running quickly so that we can meet the ambitious timeline of publishing proposals by the end of the first quarter this year, with the view of having the first final standards ready as soon as possible.” He emphasises that another measure of success will be the level of engagement with and feedback from stakeholders, with a public consultation planned to set the Board’s next priorities.
He also stresses that the ISSB has much to learn from its ‘older sibling,’ the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), noting that it has developed a comprehensive set of global standards by engaging successfully with a wide range of stakeholders and through high-quality technical discussions. “Linking our work to that of the IASB is essential. We need to work together so we can provide investors with powerful decision-making tools―and to make sure we don’t create big overlaps or holes in the system.”
Faber shows a strong belief in the value of efficient capital markets for society and the role of sustainability information in maintaining them. “Greenwashing has become a real risk in recent years but one thing it shows is that companies recognise that acting on issues like climate or social matters is important for their stakeholders and shareholders,” he observes. “The problem in today’s market is that companies can make claims that nobody can verify. That makes it extremely difficult for people making capital allocation decisions. High-quality global standards for disclosing sustainability information will significantly reduce greenwashing ‘noise’ and help companies and investors have meaningful conversations about what really matters to them and the concrete steps taken to implement sustainability commitments.”
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