IAASB proposes sustainability assurance standard

Anticipating requirements that subject corporate disclosures of climate and other sustainability metrics to audit, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board today announced a proposed international standard on sustainability assurance. When approved, the ISSA 5000 will be “a principles-based, overarching standard for both limited and reasonable assurance engagements on sustainability information reported across any sustainability topic,” according to IAASB.

IAASB said it drafted the standard to work with sustainability information prepared under any suitable reporting framework, including ones already in place or under development, such as those used by the European Union, the International Sustainability Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative and the International Organization for Standardization. As a result, while there currently are no enacted requirements to disclose such information, the finalized standard is expected to highly influence auditing bodies in the U.S., such as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and Auditing Standards Board.

IAASB is planning a series of four roundtables beginning in September for stakeholder feedback. It also is planning virtual, regional and national events throughout the consultation period. The deadline for submitting comments is Dec. 1.