The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation today announced the appointment of Emmanuel Faber to serve as Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), effective 1 January 2022.
The appointment follows the announcement at COP26 in November about the creation of the ISSB; the consolidation of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board and the Value Reporting Foundation (which houses the Integrated Reporting Framework and the SASB Standards) into the IFRS Foundation; and the publication of prototype general disclosures and climate disclosure requirements developed by the Technical Readiness Working Group.
The ISSB will develop, in the public interest, IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards that provide a global baseline of disclosure requirements designed to give investors high quality, globally comparable sustainability information that can be used by jurisdictions on a standalone basis or incorporated into requirements to meet broader, multi-stakeholder or public policy needs. This programme of work has been welcomed by the G20 Leaders and carries the support of market regulators, multilateral institutions, investors and companies worldwide.
The ISSB will work in close cooperation with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to ensure connectivity and compatibility between IFRS Accounting Standards and IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards.
As the former Chair of the Board and CEO of Danone, a multi-national food products company, Faber has long championed the importance of sustainability information to the global capital markets and its relevance to the investment decision-making process. Under his leadership, Danone introduced various innovations to help investors and credit providers better understand how sustainability factors might affect their assessment of enterprise value over the short, medium and long-term.
Faber has significant global experience, having lived in and held senior leadership positions across four continents—Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. He founded and chairs several international organisations and initiatives, including the One Planet Business for Biodiversity coalition and the G7 Business for Inclusive Growth coalition―co-chaired with the OECD Secretary General. He initiated Danone Communities, a social business initiative providing funding to bring nutrition and water access for vulnerable communities, as well as the Livelihoods Venture, which provides funding for ecosystem restoration and the development of sustainable farming in emerging economies.
Commenting on the appointment, Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, said:
Emmanuel Faber has been a long-term proponent of companies factoring sustainability matters into their strategy and in their reporting to the markets. His global leadership skills and drive make him the ideal inaugural ISSB Chair to lead the development of standards to meet investors’ demand for information about climate and other sustainability matters.
Emmanuel Faber said:
Investors are demanding high-quality, globally comparable sustainability information on which to make informed investment decisions. The ISSB represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fulfil that need in a fast-changing world, where climate in particular will drive major shifts in the coming years. We should move diligently and build on the great momentum resulting from the formation of the ISSB at COP26. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with stakeholders across the world in developing ESG standards that inform global capital allocations, market prices and cost of capital, working alongside the IASB.
Andreas Barckow, IASB Chair, said:
Congratulations to Emmanuel on his appointment. I look forward to working closely with him and his board to serve the information needs of investors.
The appointment of Faber, which is for an initial three-year term, is supported by the IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board, which oversees various aspects of the governance of the IFRS Foundation.
The Trustees will shortly call for nominations for the remaining ISSB members, ensuring diversity in representation and professional experience, and announce the appointments of Vice-Chairs and senior staff members to create the ISSB’s global leadership team.
The ISSB’s first public consultation―seeking feedback on a proposed general disclosure requirements standard and a climate disclosure standard—is expected to be published during the first quarter of 2022. The proposed standards will build on the recommendations from the Technical Readiness Working Group, which was created to enable the ISSB to build on the work of existing investor-focused sustainability reporting initiatives.