IAASB’s ambitious stride towards global sustainability reporting standard


The IAASB has unveiled the International Standard on Sustainability Assurance (ISSA) 5000, a standard to ensure sustainable reporting.

This introduction coincides with a global shift towards detailed sustainability and climate-related reporting, fuelled by an emergence of new sustainability disclosure standards and regulatory requirements including the EU’s CSRD rules, the U.S. SEC’s climate disclosure rules, and the newly launched IFRS climate and sustainability reporting standards by the ISSB.

IAASB Chair Tom Seidenstein expressed his view that ISSA 5000 is a vital move in boosting trust and credibility in sustainability reporting. He further stated, “Our proposed ISSA 5000 is a crucial step in enhancing confidence and trust in sustainability reporting. This proposal directly responds to the International Organization of Securities Commissions recommendations and complements the work of other standard setters, including the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants. Corporate reporting, whether financial or sustainability focused, is more trusted when it receives external and independent assurance based upon globally accepted standards independently developed in the public interest.”

The standard is designed to serve as a universal foundation for sustainability assurance and is flexible enough to be used with information compiled by any size entity. Furthermore, it’s compatible with any appropriate sustainability reporting framework.

In order to procure comprehensive feedback, the IAASB will be holding a series of roundtables and participating in virtual, regional, and national events. They are inviting stakeholders to provide comments on the proposals until 1st December 2023.

IAASB Vice-Chair and Sustainability Task Force Chair Josephine Jackson expressed her view that the broader the range of views they receive, the better the final standard’s quality and trustworthiness will be. Jackson stated, “Receiving the broadest range of views from our stakeholders will improve both the quality of and trust in the final standard. Our unprecedented commitment to outreach will allow us to engage directly with a much wider group of stakeholders to gather the valuable insights we need to finalize a high-quality robust standard.”

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