Date posted: 28/06/2023

Practical guidance on preparing for the ISSB’s sustainability disclosure standards

Mandatory sustainability reporting is coming. Are you ready?

In brief

  • Climate-related reporting is already mandatory in New Zealand for certain large entities.
  • Sustainability reporting is anticipated to be mandatory in Australia by 2024 for large entities.
  • The ISSB’s first two sustainability standards focus on general and climate-related disclosures.
  • Practical guidance is available to assist entities to get started.

Mandatory sustainability reporting, already a reality in New Zealand through mandatory climate-related disclosures, is fast approaching in Australia and other jurisdictions globally. At an international level, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)’s first two IFRS Sustainability Standards were issued in June 2023.These standards are expected to pave the way for mandatory reporting in Australia, with Treasury signalling that the ISSB's standards could become mandatory for Australian large-listed companies and financial institutions for 2024 -2025 financial year.

To assist finance professionals and finance teams to prepare for mandatory sustainability reporting, CA ANZ and Deloitte have collaborated to launch a new series providing practical insights and actions to help them get ready for reporting under the ISSB’s standards.

Some entities have already prepared for the disclosures by undertaking a gap assessment and developed a roadmap to their future sustainability reporting state. However, others are yet to start, and the advice is clear – start early. Don’t underestimate how long this will take, adopt a continuous improvement mindset and see this as an opportunity to strengthen existing processes.

If you haven’t prepared yet, now is the time to act. Take a deep dive into your business model to understand how your corporate strategy drives sustainability values and impacts, where conflicts and trade-offs are made, and how this understanding informs your sustainability vision.

Getting started: Materiality

The first guide in the series focuses on how materiality is defined in the standards and the relevance for financial reporting. It includes tips for finance professionals and teams to assist them to get started on a comprehensive materiality assessment to prepare for the standards.

Getting started: Data and systems

The second guide focuses on data and systems, summarising what the standards mean in terms of the data required to unpin the sustainability and climate-related disclosures. It includes tips on how financial teams should prepare.  

Getting started: Connection to finance

The third guide summarises the connection of the sustainability-related financial disclosures and financial reporting. It includes practical considerations in relation to internal processes and controls for financial teams. 

About the ISSB Standards

The IASB standards IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information and IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures catalyse the integration of sustainability with financial reporting. They respond to expectations from capital markets participants for more meaningful and comparable sustainability and climate change disclosures. They will enable investors and other stakeholders to understand an entity’s sustainability–related risks and opportunities, the connection between them, and potential financial impacts now and into the future.

These standards are available for adoption for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2024, there are provisions in place to help entities scale up their approach to disclosures over time.


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