In July 2022, the members of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) held their inaugural board meeting in Frankfurt. “Not even a year later – in June 2023 – the ISSB issued its first two standards on climate-related disclosures and on general sustainability-related risks and opportunities companies face over the short, medium and long term. This speed is impressive. That is why I would like to learn more about how these standards have been received internationally, in the European Union and in Germany and where the ISSB team will set its thematic priorities in developing further standards,” Hesse’s State Minister of Finance Michael Boddenberg today said at the ISSB’s Frankfurt Office.
Today, Boddenberg visited on site with Veronika Pountcheva (ISSB member), Regina Karoline Schueller (Director Frankfurt Office) and the ISSB team in order to exchange ideas on current developments in corporate sustainability reporting. Being the seat of the board and hosting the office of the chair, the office at the financial centre Frankfurt is a key location of the ISSB. In addition, it is a hub for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and performs key functions for the ISSB as a whole.
“Representing the State Government of Hesse, we are delighted that the ISSB started operations in Frankfurt and is developing global standards for corporate sustainability reporting here. At the financial centre Frankfurt, the ISSB board will not only find a diverse corporate landscape, but also a variety of opportunities to exchange ideas with local academia – thanks to a range of financial research institutions,” the State Minister of Finance said. He welcomed the recent decision of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) for its members to endorse, as far as possible, the ISSB’s standards in their respective regulation: “This is a great compliment to the ISSB’s work so far.”
The State of Hesse, together with the Federal Government and the cities of Frankfurt and Eschborn as well as a broad consortium from the private sector had been advocating for the establishment of the ISSB in Frankfurt. The State Minister of Finance was convinced that the development of global standards in sustainability reporting would increase transparency. “What is being described in the same systematic way and in a common language will be comparable, too,” Boddenberg said, while at the same time pointing out that taking into account the users‘ perspective was key: “How practical are the standards – especially for SMEs? What are the ISSB’s plans to support users in the future implementation of the standards? Acceptance of the standards will also depend on the answers to these questions.”
“Frankfurt has not only welcomed the International Sustainable Standard Board (ISSB) with open arms, but the entire financial ecosystem has been an incredible partner and supported us with an open and constructive dialogue, a rich network and profound knowledge. We look forward to further close cooperation and active exchange,” said Veronika Pountcheva.
Regina Karoline Schueller added: “Frankfurt is an important financial centre. Thus, the city is the perfect location for an international organisation such as the International Sustainable Standard Board (ISSB) to efficiently serve all its stakeholders in the EMEA region. Employees and managers feel at home in the city, but also in the Rhine-Main region. In fact, many colleagues, and visitors from all over the world visit the ISSB in Frankfurt.”
“The State of Hesse will continue to support the work of the board to the best of its ability. I look forward with great expectation to see where we will stand in one, in five, in ten years’ time in the development of global minimum standards in sustainability reporting. In Frankfurt, the ISSB has found a location offering diverse cooperation opportunities with academia and other areas. I am convinced that this is good for the ISSB, its global standards and for the ecosystem of Frankfurt as a financial centre,” Minister Boddenberg said.