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The IFRS Foundation and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) today announced an agreement to establish the Montreal centre of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The Montreal centre will host key functions on behalf of the ISSB, including the coordination of activity across the Americas.

Established at the COP26 climate conference in November 2021, the ISSB will operate a multi-location model to deliver consistent and comparable global standards for reporting on environmental, social and governance matters. Today’s announcement follows a similar announcement about the ISSB’s presence in Frankfurt, which will also host key functions and coordinate activities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Arrangements for the Asia-Oceania region are progressing.

The Montreal agreement, a private sector Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), calls on CPA Canada to work collectively with the broad array of stakeholders that have come together to help fund and lend support to the ISSB and the Quebec-based centre. CPA Canada spearheaded efforts to unite the group known as the Canadian Champions for Global Sustainability Standards and the MoU envisions that leading role continuing.

The five-year agreement states that Montreal will host significant standard-setting responsibilities and associated functions, including a share of board meetings, leadership and resources that reflect the Montreal location’s importance to the ISSB. The two signing parties have also committed themselves to the long-term success of the ISSB and its Montreal presence.

As part of its Americas coordination role, the Montreal centre will work in close cooperation with the San Francisco office (headquarters of the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF), which is expected to be consolidated into the IFRS Foundation by 30 June 2022).

The next meeting of the IFRS Foundation Trustees will take place in Montreal between 28 and 30 June 2022.

Commenting on the agreement, Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, said:

Montreal has excellent sustainability credentials and a truly international outlook. Along with Frankfurt, it will provide an effective base for the ISSB. I thank our Canadian colleagues for their commitment to the mission of the ISSB and support and enthusiasm for our work.

Emmanuel Faber, Chair of the ISSB, said:

I am delighted the Trustees chose Montreal as a key location for the ISSB. It provides a valuable sustainability ecosystem to support our future work and will provide an excellent base, along with Frankfurt, for our future success.

Richard Olfert, Chair of the CPA Canada Board of Directors, said:

Canada’s strong commitment to global sustainability standards is clearly demonstrated by the extensive range of support that has come together to back the ISSB and the establishment of its Montreal centre. By welcoming Montreal, the IFRS Foundation is signalling its trust in Canada to help the ISSB establish a global footprint.

Beth Wilson, Vice-Chair, CPA Canada Board of Directors, said:

The IFRS Foundation values Canada’s respected standard-setting expertise and track record across a number of environmental, social and governance areas that will support and inform the work to establish a common playing field globally for sustainability standards.

Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal, said:

The choice of Montreal for an ISSB office is a strong testimony to our leadership in the global movement for sustainable development. We have a crucial role to play in reducing our GHG emissions. Montreal has already taken steps in that direction, and it will now be involved in sustainable finance. Thanks to the work of the ISSB, companies will be encouraged to take on more green projects, to the benefit of the metropolis and its economy.

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