Sustainability momentum continues with naming of ISSB chair

Emmanuel Faber, a former CEO and board chair for multinational food products company Danone, was named Thursday as chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board.
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Progress towards the development of global sustainability standards continued Thursday with the IFRS Foundation's announcement that Emmanuel Faber will serve as chair of the newly formed International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) beginning 1 January.

Faber formerly served as CEO and chair of the board for multinational food products company Danone. Under his leadership, Danone introduced various innovations to help investors and credit providers understand how sustainability factors might influence how they assess enterprise value.

He has lived in and held senior leadership positions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. He founded and chairs or co-chairs several international organisations and initiatives, including the One Planet Business for Biodiversity coalition and the G7 Business for Inclusive Growth coalition.

Faber will help lead the ISSB's development of global IFRS sustainability disclosure standards, which will be designed to give investors information that can help them make decisions and to meet other stakeholder and public policy needs. The IFRS Foundation announced the formation of the ISSB in November at the global COP26 climate conference.

"Investors are demanding high-quality, globally comparable sustainability information on which to make informed investment decisions," Faber said in a news release. "The ISSB represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fulfil that need in a fast-changing world, where climate in particular will drive major shifts in the coming years. We should move diligently and build on the great momentum resulting from the formation of the ISSB at COP26."

Ash Noah, CPA, FCMA, CGMA, vice-president and managing director–CGMA Learning, Education and Development for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, representing AICPA & CIMA, said the Association welcomes Faber's appointment.

"The formation of the ISSB is a defining moment for the accounting and finance profession and signals a new era for corporate reporting, one where the same level of rigour will be demanded for sustainability reporting as for financial information," Noah said in a statement. "This appointment of Emmanuel Faber clearly showcases the ISSB's intention to move with speed and purpose to develop consistent, reliable, and comprehensive global sustainability standards.

"Similarly, the accounting and finance profession must move to enable the quick adoption and implementation of these standards within their organisations and help accelerate the standardisation of sustainability reporting across the globe. Not only will this help to improve integrated thinking within their organisations, but will also increase reliability and transparency of sustainability information to support global efforts towards creating a more sustainable future."

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