Keith Nuthall is a journalist specialising in international organisations, law and regulation


The IFRS Foundation has appointed former Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber as chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which is developing global sustainable reporting standards. His initial term is for three years. Faber has stressed the importance of sustainability information for investment decisions.

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is planning to undertake more work on sustainability reporting in 2022 and 2023 under a new work plan. The IAASB says this could see it develop new subject-matter specific standards that build on, enhance and supplement the ISAE 3000 (Revised) International Standard on Assurance Engagements for non-financial information.

The Impact Taskforce – an independent, industry and business-led international taskforce supported by the G7 group of nations – has called for mandatory accounting for impact by businesses and investors to harmonised standards, backing the ISSB’s efforts to create ‘a global reporting “baseline” on impact related to enterprise value’.

The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has launched a methodology to assess and rank the performance of the world’s 400 most influential financial institutions – including asset owners, asset managers, banks and insurance companies – on their promotion of sustainability and inclusivity.

The SASB Standards Board of the Value Reporting Foundation has launched two new standard-setting projects. The first will better integrate diversity, equity and inclusion considerations across SASB standards, and the second will cover greenhouse gas emissions and air quality issues in a marine transportation standard.

A new GRI survey has revealed that while 83% of (mostly larger) companies assessed worldwide have made commitments in their sustainability reports to deliver on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), only 40% set measurable targets to achieve them. While larger corporations had a better record, GRI argued that smaller businesses should ‘be able to demonstrate their plans, commitments, actions and progress’.

Financial services

The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (Iosco) has released guidance highlighting the risks of increased digitalisation and the use of social media in the way financial products are marketed and distributed. It has called on its members to adapt their regulatory and enforcement approaches to the changing trends of digitalisation and the regulatory challenges they may bring.

Iosco has also started consulting on how to boost the operational resilience of securities commissions facing external crises, building on experience gained during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes keeping business continuity plans under review, ensuring governance systems are robust, and assessing information security risks. Iosco has asked members to describe the Covid-19 operational risks they have faced, for further analysis.


The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is considering changing the IFRS taxonomy to take account of planned changes to IFRS 17 and IFRS 9 on comparative information and insurance contracts.

Public sector

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has approved IPSAS 43, which will supersede IPSAS 13 on leases from 1 January 2025. It also introduces a right-of-use model for lessees, aligning with the IFRS 16 standard on leases. Details will be released by February.


The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) has approved revisions to its International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, including changes to the definitions of ‘listed entity’ and ‘public interest entity’. The IESBA has also approved two sets of proposed revisions to its code affecting technology and engagement and group audit independence, with details to be released by February.