The Intersection of Climate-related Disclosures and Sustainability in IFRS Standards

Alfred Tang

Alfred Tang

Jan 21, 20243 min read

0

The Intersection of Climate-related Disclosures and Sustainability in IFRS Standards

Introduction:

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) play a crucial role in providing a unified framework for financial reporting across the globe. As the world grapples with climate change and the need for sustainable practices, the IFRS has responded by issuing two important standards: "ISSB-2023-A – Issued IFRS Standards - issb-2023-a-ifrs-s2-climate-related-disclosures.pdf" and "ISSB-2023-A – Issued IFRS Standards - issb-2023-a-ifrs-s1-general-requirements-for-disclosure-of-sustainability-related-financial-information.pdf." These standards aim to address climate-related risks and opportunities, as well as the disclosure of sustainability-related financial information. In this article, we will explore the common points between these standards and how they intersect in shaping the future of financial reporting.

Connecting Climate-related Disclosures and Sustainability:

One of the key areas of overlap between the two IFRS standards is the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions. "IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures" mandates the disclosure of absolute gross greenhouse gas emissions, employing the Greenhouse Gas Protocol categories. This provides a standardized approach for organizations to report their emissions in terms of CO2 equivalents. On the other hand, "IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information" emphasizes the need for entities to assess sustainability-related risks and opportunities throughout their value chain. This includes the consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the entity's business model, strategy, and financial performance.

Furthermore, both standards emphasize the role of governance in addressing climate-related and sustainability issues. "IFRS S1" highlights the importance of skills and competencies within the governing body or individual responsible for overseeing sustainability-related risks and opportunities. It also emphasizes the need for regular information updates and the integration of sustainability factors into decision-making processes. Similarly, "IFRS S2" expects entities to reassess the scope of climate-related risks and opportunities in the event of significant changes or events. This highlights the need for ongoing monitoring and management of sustainability-related factors throughout an entity's operations.

Unique Insights:

While the common points between the two standards are evident, it is essential to explore unique insights that can further enhance the integration of climate-related disclosures and sustainability in financial reporting. One such insight is the recognition of the interconnectedness between sustainability and financial performance. Both "IFRS S1" and "IFRS S2" emphasize the impact of sustainability factors on an entity's business model, strategy, and decision-making processes. By recognizing this connection, organizations can proactively address sustainability-related risks and opportunities, ultimately leading to improved financial performance and long-term resilience.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Integrate Sustainability into Governance: Organizations should ensure that governance structures include individuals with the necessary skills and competencies to oversee sustainability-related risks and opportunities. Regular updates and information sharing should be prioritized to enable effective decision-making.
  • 2. Foster Collaboration Across Value Chains: Entities should go beyond their immediate operations and engage with stakeholders throughout their value chains. This includes suppliers, customers, and partners. Collaborative efforts can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of sustainability-related risks and opportunities, as well as the development of innovative solutions.
  • 3. Embrace Technology for Enhanced Reporting: With the increasing complexity of climate-related disclosures and sustainability reporting, organizations should leverage technological tools and solutions. This will enable efficient data collection, analysis, and reporting, leading to more accurate and transparent disclosures.

Conclusion:

The issuance of "IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures" and "IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information" marks a significant step towards integrating climate-related risks and sustainability into financial reporting. The common points between these standards highlight the importance of greenhouse gas emissions disclosure and the role of governance in managing sustainability factors. By embracing these standards and implementing the actionable advice provided, organizations can achieve greater transparency, resilience, and long-term value creation.

Resource:

  1. "ISSB-2023-A – Issued IFRS Standards - issb-2023-a-ifrs-s2-climate-related-disclosures.pdf", https://www.ifrs.org/content/dam/ifrs/publications/pdf-standards-issb/english/2023/issued/part-a/issb-2023-a-ifrs-s2-climate-related-disclosures.pdf (Glasp)
  2. "ISSB-2023-A – Issued IFRS Standards - issb-2023-a-ifrs-s1-general-requirements-for-disclosure-of-sustainability-related-financial-information.pdf", https://www.ifrs.org/content/dam/ifrs/publications/pdf-standards-issb/english/2023/issued/part-a/issb-2023-a-ifrs-s1-general-requirements-for-disclosure-of-sustainability-related-financial-information.pdf (Glasp)

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