ISSB begins research on biodiversity standards

April 25th, 2024

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has commenced projects to research disclosure about risks and opportunities associated with biodiversity.

The projects will assess the corporate disclosure risks across biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services, and human capital, assessing and defining the limitations with current disclosure in these areas, identifying possible solutions and deciding whether standard setting is required.

They will focus on the information investors need to assess whether and how these risks and opportunities could reasonably be expected to affect a company’s prospects.

It said that it would use the same approach it used to develop the ISSB inaugural standards, which involved examining pre-existing initiatives, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standards and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) guidance.

The research will allow the ISSB to begin its own standard-setting work in key areas needed to establish more specific disclosures to expand the global baseline of sustainability-related financial disclosures.

The ISSB noted that following market feedback, it decided not to embark on projects related to risks and opportunities associated with human rights, beyond risks and opportunities relating to a company’s own workforce and workers in its value chain.

The investor coalition ShareAction wrote to the ISSB in September calling on it to make human rights a priority.

Emmanuel Faber, ISSB chair, said: “Feedback indicated a significant and growing need among investors for improved disclosures around biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystems services as well as human capital, as a key source of value for companies.”

This month, the Sustainability Standards Board of Japan (SSBJ) issued a proposal of its Sustainability Disclosure Standards, which were developed in line with the ISSB’s standards.

Last Updated: 25 April 2024