Ex-Danone chief Emmanuel Faber appointed to lead new IFRS global sustainability standards body

The former CEO of Danone, Emmanuel Faber, a long-time advocate of purposeful business, has been appointed as chair of a new organisation that will design global standards for companies to report on their social and environmental impact.

The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS) announced the launch of its International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) at COP26. 

The ISSB will produce the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards which are intended to become “a global baseline” for disclosure requirements, enabling investors to access high-quality, comparable information on companies’ impact on the climate and social sustainability.

Faber said: “Investors are demanding high quality, globally comparable sustainability information on which to make informed investment decisions. The ISSB represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fulfil that need in a fast-changing world, where climate in particular will drive major shifts in the coming years.”

The standards would help compatibility between various requirements that are jurisdiction-specific or aimed at a wider group of stakeholders (for example, the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive as well as initiatives in the Americas and Asia-Oceania).

G7 Impact Taskforce support

The ISSB was recently backed by the G7 Impact Taskforce – a group of 120 influential figures in business and finance formed four months ago with a mission to boost impact investing. In its report published this week, the taskforce urged governments and regulators to support the efforts of the ISSB to enable harmonisation and comparability of impact measurement worldwide. 

At the helm of Danone, Faber convinced 99.4% of the company’s shareholders to vote in favour of it becoming a legally-recognised mission-led business (‘entreprise à mission’) in 2020. He was ousted from Danone after more than 20 years at the company in March 2021 following a disagreement with the board, but shareholders reaffirmed their support to Danone's ‘entreprise à mission’ status at the end of April.

Top Picture: Emmanuel Faber in 2014 (Wikimedia Commons)

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