October 2020: IFRS Foundation
On 15 October nineteen Accounting Professors, including editors of leading accounting journals, publish an open letter to the Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees. It concerns a new IFRS Consultation Paper on Sustainability Reporting (Sept 2020), which foresees the IFRS creating a global Sustainability Standards Board (SSB). They express serious concern that the paper includes proposals inconsistent with research findings from the field of sustainability accounting. The paper states that an SSB would not employ a double materiality approach, but rather focus on the information needs of investors. Based on academic research, the Accounting Professors argue that a “profit and financial materiality focus leads sustainability reporting to make a negative impact on, or reduced contribution to, sustainable development”. They believe the approach will exacerbate the “lack of corporate and investor responsiveness to sustainable development issues”.