Expert taskforce convened to oversee UK’s adoption of ISSB standards

The UK Government has selected 15 auditors and sustainable business experts to form a new Committee that will steer the nation’s strategic approach to adopting new international sustainability disclosure standards.

Expert taskforce convened to oversee UK’s adoption of ISSB standards

The new UK Sustainability Disclosure Technical Advisory Committee will assess whether the UK should endorse the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) standards and, if so, to which timeframes.

Sally Duckworth, who has been selected to chair the Committee, said: “As the UK contemplates its endorsement, our Committee’s unique combination of skills will be instrumental in ensuring that these standards not only enhance corporate reporting but also drive meaningful progress towards a more sustainable economy.

“Our collaborative efforts will set a robust foundation for making informed investment decisions that will ensure the UK leads the way in sustainable investment.”

Duckworth is an accountant who has held several senior corporate positions in the fields of investment management and audit. She is currently the non-executive chair of StorMagic, a data storage company, and holds two audit chair roles in the financial sector.

Duckworth called the ISSB’s standards “pivotal for advancing sustainability and transparency in financial practices”.

The ISSB launched its first two standards last summer and they have been endorsed by an array of national governments including Brazil, Sri Lanka and Turkey. Several larger economies including Canada and Japan are also on the cusp of endorsement, while the EU is aligning its own guidance with that of the ISSB.

IFRS S1, the first standard from the body, is described as the “core baseline” of sustainability reporting and is suitable for large businesses in all sectors and geographies. It covers factors including emissions across all scopes and waste management data.

IFRS S2, meanwhile, goes into more depth on climate mitigation, climate adaptation and climate risk management.

Information on which sustainability topics will be the focus of the next tranche of ISSB standards is due out later this year.

Committee membership

In addition to Duckworth, Ministers at the Department for Business and Trade have appointed 14 Committee members, namely:

  • Barclays’ vice president of sustainability and ESG reporting, Scott Barlow
  • The Financial Reporting Council’s director of accounting and reporting policy, Jenny Carter
  • Diageo’s head of global ESG insights, Harriet Cullum
  • HSBC’s sustainability disclosures and insights lead, Dia Desai
  • KPMG UK’s lead for its ESG reporting practice, Hilary Eastman
  • Generation Investment Management’s director of impact, Madeline Evans
  • The London Stock Exchange’s lead for sustainable finance strategic initiatives, David Harris
  • PwC UK’s corporate reporting services team lead, Peter Hogarth
  • Redington’s head of stewardship and sustainable investment strategy, Paul Lee, also non-executive member of the UK Endorsement Board
  • NatWest Group’s head of climate & purpose Supriya Sobti
  • Craig Mackenzie, senior lecturer in sustainable enterprise at the University of Edinburgh
  • Nick Rowbottom, professor of accounting and corporate reporting at the University of Birmingham
  • Joseph Noss, chair of the International Standards Organisation’s sustainable finance committee
  • Jeremy Osborn, global head of sustainability at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

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