At its April meeting, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) decided to add to the transitional reliefs already proposed in relation to the adoption of its first two Sustainability Standards – IFRS S1 ‘General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information’ and IFRS S2 ‘Climate-related Disclosures’.

The announcements mean reporting entities will only need to report sustainability risks and opportunities in relation to climate in the first year. Reporting entities will then need to report on their complete range of sustainability risks and opportunities, including climate from the second year onwards.

The full set of transitional reliefs mean that in the first year of reporting, entities do not need to:

  • provide disclosures about sustainability-related risks and opportunities on topics other than climate-related information
  • provide comparative information
  • provide annual sustainability-related disclosures at the same time as the related financial statements
  • disclose Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions
  • use the Green House Gas Protocol to measure emissions, if they are currently using a different approach.

The ISSB has made this decision because investors indicated that while they need sustainability-related information across all areas, climate-related information is the most urgent.

This relief in conjunction with the other reliefs already provided, means:

  • that comparative information in year two only needs to be on climate-related information (assuming the reporting entity takes advantage of the relief only to report on climate-related risks and opportunities in the first year)
  • reporting entities can focus on meeting investor needs in relation to climate initially
  • reporting entities can use the first year to become familiar with the requirements of IFRS S1 using climate as a basis, before having to report on other areas
  • reporting entities can take time mapping out their value chain in year one, taking advantage of not having to disclose the Scope 3 emissions.

The ISSB are still on track to release its first two Sustainability Standards; IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 towards the end of Q2 2023, with their effective date being 1 January 2024.

Our thoughts

We support the ISSB providing relief to reporting entities so only climate-related risks and opportunities need to be reported in the first year. Given the short implementation time frame, some reporting entities may find it challenging to meet all the requirements set out in the new Standards in the first year. This relief will enable reporting entities to initially embed systems and procedures to provide high quality disclosures on climate-related risks and disclosures before focusing on other areas. 

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised, please speak to your usual Grant Thornton contact or your local member firm.

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