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What an International Sustainability Standards Board means for Canada


TORONTO November 9, 2021 /CNW/ – The need for a Canadian Sustainability Standards Board is clearer than ever, says Edward J. Waitzer, Chair of the Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting in Canada.

“Growing demand for disclosing sustainability information has led to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting initiatives worldwide,” Waitzer notes. “This is all well and good, but the diversity and even conflicting guidance isn’t getting us to where we need to be. After years of too few standards, there may now be too many.”

The new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) announced last week is set to respond to a much-needed consistent approach at a global level by addressing the disparities in the guidance and frameworks on ESG reporting that have resulted in limited effectiveness and increased reporting complexity.
Next up – a Canadian-specific response.

The Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting in Canada is working to review the governance and structure for existing Canadian accounting, auditing, and assurance standards and to identify what might be needed for the future – specifically sustainability standards.

“Our goal is to ensure that Canadian standard setting continues to be relevant and responsive, as well as independent and internationally recognized,” explains Waitzer. “As a result, we think it is critical to establish a Canadian Sustainability Standards Board that works alongside Canada’s existing accounting, auditing, and assurance standards bodies.”

A Canadian Sustainability Standards Board will also liaise with the new ISSB, ensuring that the Canadian perspective is part of international decision making.

The committee will be issuing a consultation paper in early December 2021 that will outline its thinking on why a Canadian Sustainability Standards Board is important, seeking comment on the design of such a standard-setting body and other key matters it sees as being relevant to existing standard-setting processes.

The paper will be open for public comment until February 28, 2022 and the committee hopes to actively engage with a broad range of stakeholders.

Feedback will drive the final recommendations the committee makes next summer to Canada’s accounting and auditing oversight councils, who will ultimately decide how the recommendations should be implemented.

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For further information:
Providing media support for the committee is Daniella Girgenti, Director, Communications – Standards, Financial Reporting & Assurance Standards Canada,, 416-204-3482