VIDEO: ESRS-ISSB interoperability &CDP's alignment

Updated: 
May 9, 2024
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The Week in Sustainability – May 6–10, 2024

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Bridging the standards gap: ESRS, ISSB, and interoperability guidance

The landscape of sustainability reporting frameworks is constantly evolving and can often feel overwhelming, along with a maze of acronyms and standards. However, this week’s developments clarify this complex terrain, shedding light on how companies can effectively navigate the path toward meaningful and streamlined sustainability reporting.

The joint release of the ESRS (European Sustainability Reporting Standards) and ISSB (International Sustainability Standards Board) interoperability guidance is a significant milestone in harmonizing sustainability reporting practices. While rooted in similar goals of promoting sustainability disclosure, these standards have traditionally taken divergent approaches. ESRS, mandated by the EU’s CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), emphasizes a double materiality assessment, requiring companies to disclose financial and impactful material information. On the other hand, ISSB’s IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation) focuses solely on financial material information, leaving impact considerations optional.

The newly released interoperability guidance aims to bridge this gap by aligning key terms, definitions, and reporting requirements across both standards. By clarifying where these standards intersect and differ, the guidance enables companies to streamline their reporting efforts, reducing complexity, fragmentation, and duplication. This move is pivotal for companies grappling with duplicative and decentralized reporting efforts, offering a streamlined approach that frees them to focus on substantive progress rather than bureaucratic hurdles.

Streamlining sustainability reporting with CDP's 2024 questionnaire

Meanwhile, CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) has unveiled its 2024 reporting questionnaire, marking a significant step towards framework alignment. CDP facilitates a more cohesive and comprehensive reporting process by consolidating themed questionnaires into a single integrated framework and enhancing alignment with standards like TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) and ISSB IFRSS S2.

Moreover, its commitment to align with emerging frameworks like TNFD (Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures) underscores the organization's dedication to staying ahead of the curve.

Technology solutions offer a beacon of hope for companies navigating the maze of sustainability reporting. With reporting season in full swing, companies can lean on trusted providers to navigate the rapidly evolving yet harmonizing landscape of sustainability reporting.

As sustainability takes center stage in corporate agendas, effective reporting is paramount. By embracing interoperability guidance and leveraging technology-driven solutions, companies can chart a course toward transparent, impactful, and efficient sustainability reporting practices.

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Sources

1. CDP, "Guidance & questionnaires." https://www.cdp.net/en/guidance

2. ESG Today, "FRS, EFRAG Publish Guide for Companies Complying with Both ISSB and CSRD Sustainability Reporting Standards." https://www.esgtoday.com/ifrs-efrag-publish-guide-for-companies-complying-with-both-issb-and-csrd-sustainability-reporting-standards/ Accessed May 2, 2024

3. ISSB, "ISSB publishes its digital sustainability taxonomy, helping investors analyse sustainability disclosures efficiently." https://www.ifrs.org/news-and-events/news/2024/04/issb-publishes-its-digital-sustainability-taxonomy/ Accessed April 30, 2024

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Alyssa Rade
Alyssa Rade is the chief sustainability officer at Sustain.Life. She has over ten years of corporate sustainability experience and guides Sustain.Life’s platform features.
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Sustain.Life Team
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