On Thursday April 14, 2022, the Coalition hosted representatives from the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation’s International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) to get an update on the respective standards or framework each is developing. This session built on previous discussions the Principle 5 workstream has organized on the topic of corporate sustainability reporting.
Mardi McBrien (Managing Director, IFRS Foundation) provided a presentation on the ISSB’s recently launched consultation on the body’s first two proposed standards. One sets out general sustainability-related disclosure requirements and the other specifies climate-related disclosure requirements. Mardi discussed the ISSB’s engagement strategy on these exposure drafts and offered a forward look on the development of the ISSB’s agenda, including a consultation on what its upcoming standard-setting priorities should be.
Emily McKenzie (Technical Director, TNFD Secretariat) then presented the TNFD’s newly released Nature-Related Risk & Opportunity Management and Disclosure Framework Beta v0.1. She covered the definitions, disclosure recommendations and risk and opportunity assessment approach, which are key components of the first iteration of the framework, as well as how pilots are being conducted. The first beta release of the TNFD framework outlines a proposed assessment process including 4 phases (Locate, Evaluate, Assess and Prepare - LEAP).
Following their presentations, Humberto Ahuactzin, Economic Studies Coordinator, National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), Mexico, provided some feedback and shared the Mexican experience on advancing the domestic corporate sustainability agenda. CNBV has created a working group on information disclosure and ESG standards adoption. Among other things, this working group has facilitated specialized training to CNBV’s staff and the working group’s members and observers, created an e-learning platform on sustainable finance, and developed a self-diagnosis tool for issuers and financial institutions.
Next Dirk Kramer, Deputy Division Chief, Sustainable Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, Germany, provided the German perspective on the topic and noted importance of this agenda in Germany. He emphasized the criticality of corporate sustainability reporting in the overall German sustainable finance strategy.
There was an engaging Q&A session in which the presenters commented on how materiality is addressed in their respective standards and framework. Emily explained that the TNFD framework considers both corporate impacts and dependencies on nature as core to the range of risks and opportunities that affect enterprise value. She noted that TNFD is developing case studies that demonstrate the materiality of nature-related risks to corporations. Two hypothetical case examples for forests and water ('WoodNCo' and 'SocietyInvest') are already available in a recently launched TNFD discussion paper: A Landscape Assessment of Nature-related Data and Analytics Availability. The paper shows how data and analytics can be used in the LEAP assessment process.
Mardi addressed the question on double materiality, noting that the ISSB is looking at reporting on enterprise value and that materiality can be viewed via a two pillar approach – pillar 1: enterprise value of primary interest to investors and pillar 2: wider impacts material to a wider range of stakeholders using GRI standards for example. The 2 pillars are interoperable and interconnected. The ISSB refers to the building blocks approach to address specific jurisdictional reporting requirements such as those outlined in the current EU proposals.
Both representatives noted that the climate-nature nexus is important and an area for further work. Emily noted that the TNFD framework does already recognize some linkages between climate and nature. She also noted that targets will be critical in determining transition risks and the importance of those to be set in the Convention on Biological Diversity Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and national and local targets stemming from the GBF. Mardi clarified that ISSB standards draw from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) standards and are closely aligned and share amongst other things terminology, user group and primary audience for reporting.
Both representatives invited feedback from Ministries of Finance (MoFs), particularly on what it will take for the standards/framework to be adopted in their jurisdictions.
- Feedback to the ISSB can be provided via comment letter or online survey IFRS - ISSB delivers proposals that create comprehensive global baseline of sustainability disclosures
- Feedback to the TNFD is welcome via https://framework.tnfd.global/ or email@example.com.
Additional ISSB links:
- IFRS - Webinar on the ISSB’s exposure drafts – 28th April sign up link
- Exposure Draft IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information
- Exposure Draft IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures
- Snapshot, providing a high-level summary of the of the requirements
- Document comparing TCFD’s recommendations with Exposure Draft Climate-related Disclosures
- Document comparing the Technical Readiness Working Group’s recommendations with the exposure drafts
Additional TNFD links:
- Join the TNFD Forum
- The TNFD beta framework: Executive Summary | Full PDF
- FAQs, what is in the framework & what the TNFD will continue to evaluate