International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Office to be Established in Montreal

The CPA profession welcomes the IFRS Foundation’s decision to establish an office of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) in Montreal, Quebec. 

CPA Canada is among a broad array of private and public institutions and organizations, including the Government of Canada, that came together to back this country’s offer to host the ISSB. Collectively, the group is known as Canadian Champions for Global Sustainability Standards. 

“Selecting Montreal to host an office of the new international Board demonstrates that the IFRS Foundation recognizes this country’s strong commitment to sustainability governance, something showcased by the extensive support behind the Canadian bid,” explains Charles-Antoine St-Jean, president and CEO, CPA Canada. “It is a significant achievement and we look forward to seeing Canada’s role evolve as the ISSB takes shape. The IFRS Foundation has clearly signaled its trust in Canada helping the ISSB establish a global footprint.” 

Once officially launched, the new Board will develop a much-needed set of global standards for reporting on environmental, social and governance matters. This is critical because there are currently multiple reporting frameworks and standards related to sustainability. The business landscape has evolved to the point where a consistent approach is required. The IFRS Foundation will be drawing on its experience gained as the provider of international financial reporting standards in more than 140 countries as it establishes the ISSB. 

The ISSB will feature a global and multi-office structure. According to the IFRS Foundation announcement: “Offices in Frankfurt (the seat of the Board and the office of the Chair) and in Montreal will be responsible for key functions supporting the new Board and deeper co-operation with regional stakeholders.” 

In addition, there will be offices in San Francisco and London providing technical support and platforms for market engagement and regional stakeholder co-operation. Further discussions are also ongoing in relation to proposals from Beijing and Tokyo to establish the new Board’s footprint in the Asia Oceania region. 

“Canada has a proven history of being an engaging and effective facilitator when it comes to bringing various parties and diverging views together to reach a consensus or in finding a path forward,” says St-Jean. “In this context, Canada is well positioned to engage with developing and emerging economies, which the IFRS Foundation has acknowledged will be an important priority.” 

By locating an office in Montreal, the ISSB can draw on Canada’s extensive history of standard setting, innovation, and its deep and diverse talent pool. 

Canada has a solid track record of working with global institutions on sustainability and standard setting, including the IFRS Foundation. In fact, Canada’s decision to adopt international financial reporting standards several years ago over U.S. GAAP served as a catalyst in moving other jurisdictions to the international standards. 

“This country is again ready to be at the forefront as a new standard-setting process is established,” says St-Jean. 

Visit the link https://www.ifrs.org/projects/work-plan/sustainability-reporting/#current-stage for more information on the IFRS Foundation’s work toward establishing the ISSB.