SOCPA Comments on the ISSB Exposure Draft
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) considered that the standards previously issued by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), which has now merged into the International Sustainability Standards Board, will serve as the main guide for entities that will apply international sustainability standards for different economic sectors. This is after introducing limited revisions to the measurements in the standards, mainly related to amending references to laws specific to certain countries, without introducing fundamental amendments to the structure or content of those standards. ISSB has issued an exposure draft explaining its approach to circulate these guidelines so they can be applied to other countries.
SOCPA stated in its comment that it should be understood that the SASB standards were primarily developed to address the needs of companies listed on U.S. exchanges and were more focused on financial material sustainability issues. This narrower scope, primarily tailored to the U.S. market, made it less applicable or relevant to companies operating in different regions or industries. This also raises a question regarding the relevance of the ISSB requiring preparers to refer to SASB Standards metrics for disclosures in its current context with revisions to the limited objectives identified and by merely making procedural revisions.
SOCPA recommends that the best approach is for the ISSB to prepare its own independent guidance, which does not include referrals to publications that are not under its control.