A round up of the key themes from recent events – with links to recordings

by Carol A Adams Main points: Across the world various bodies and organisations are considering what policy development in relation to climate change and sustainable development means to them Summarises some recent events I’ve spoken at with some incredible people and includes links to recordings. ICAS discussion on the future of sustainability reporting standards In […]

My response to the IASB’s Exposure Draft on the Management Commentary Practice Statement

To: Andreas Barckow, Chair, International Accounting Standards Board Comment letter on the Exposure Draft on the Management Commentary Practice Statement I appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback on the Exposure Draft.  I have been following developments and evidence provided to the IASB in Board papers in connection with this revision over several years. Over that […]

Sustainability reporting and trust in banks

As a sector banks struggle to get and maintain customer trust.  The annual reports of the Royal Bank of Scotland over the last decade discussed their efforts to regain it.  A photograph depicts large text over stairs stating: “Our future is not about us, it’s about our customers”.  Over the last decade or two banks […]

Comment letter on the Exposure Draft proposing amendments to the IFRS Foundation Constitution

by Carol A Adams Response to the proposed amendments to the IFRS Foundation constitution to accommodate a new board to set “sustainability standards” Question 1 Do you agree that the amendments proportionately reflect the Trustees’ strategic direction, considering in particular: (a) the proposed amendments to the objectives of the Foundation, outlined in the proposed new […]

IFRS Foundation Trustees: key acknowledgements not addressed in strategy

by Carol A Adams Main points: the IFRS Foundation Trustees’ response to feedback acknowledges some key findings of research; some matters acknowledged by the Trustees are not (currently) incorporated into their strategy. Research demonstrates the urgent need for mandatory sustainability reporting standards to achieve sustainable development and also that such standards need to be enforced […]

US Council of Institutional Investors taking an interest in SEC position on climate and diversity disclosures

Main points: The US Council of Institutional Investors is considering views on climate change and diversity disclosure. Some key stakeholders have views that might be considered ‘yesterday’s thinking’ in Europe with a limited view of what is financially material. The SEC is currently seeking public input on climate disclosure. The sustainability reporting and materiality debate […]

Sustainable development as our ‘north star’ in the harmonisation debate

by Carol A Adams Main points: provides a summary of what matters in the debate on the harmonisation of sustainability reporting; sustainable development/ the SDGs are taken as the guiding ‘north star’. Definition of sustainability reporting “Sustainability reporting is an organization’s practice of reporting publicly on its most significant economic, environmental and social impacts, and […]

Connecting the COVID-19 pandemic, ESG investing and calls for ‘harmonisation’ of sustainability reporting

by Carol A Adams and Subhash Abhayawansa Highlights: Summarises key materials informing efforts to harmonise sustainability reporting; Analyses approaches of key standard setters; Argues that: financial materiality should not be paramount in determining sustainability disclosures; investor needs cannot be satisfied by consistent and comparable metrics alone; harmonisation calls overlook needs of non-investor stakeholders. Abstract We […]

Heading in the wrong direction: IFRS and its band

by Carol A Adams Main points: Recent contributions to the sustainability reporting debate are still contradictory. The key ‘players’ are heading in a direction that will not lead to transformation. Some organisations/individuals are welcoming each new opposing contribution. There is a need for more evidence based analysis. The madness in the discourse on the ‘harmonisation’ […]

EU v IFRS: Fundamentally different approaches to sustainability reporting

by Carol A Adams Main points: The IFRS Foundation and EU/EFRAG approaches are opposed in all key aspects. The EU/EFRAG approach is likely to contribute to addressing sustainable development (including climate change). The IFRS Foundation approach likely won’t. The IFRS Foundation has the backing of IOSCO, but the EU has legislative powers. Yesterday, I received […]