Written by 10:30 Financial Centre, Sustainable Finance

Sustainability standards on a scientific basis Goethe University and ISSB want to work together intensively in future

Internationally comparable standards for corporate sustainability reporting are an important prerequisite for achieving climate and other sustainability goals worldwide. The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), which has had its key location in Frankfurt am Main since 2022, is to receive greater academic support from the Rhine-Main region in future. Goethe University and ISSB have defined the cornerstones of future cooperation in a Memorandum of Understanding.

One or two conferences a year, networking with the relevant research institutions in the Rhine-Main region, training and further education with regard to the development and application of sustainability reporting standards – coordinated by the House of Finance (HoF) at Goethe University: these are the main objectives that Goethe University and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) agreed on today in a Memorandum of Understanding. The document was signed on behalf of Goethe University by its President Professor Enrico Schleiff, while Dr Erhard Schipporeit signed on behalf of the IFRS Foundation as the ISSB’s sponsor.

In particular, the House of Finance, the Sustainability & Biodiversity profile area and the Departments of Economics and Biosciences will be closely involved in the development of generally applicable standards at the ISSB. The Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE, the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research, the Institute for Socio-Ecological Research (ISOE), the German Accounting Standards Committee (GASC) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research are named as associated partners. The aim of the participating institutions is to form an academic network centred around the IFRS Foundation, in which the threads for Europe, the Middle East and Africa come together. The House of Finance will assume the role of coordinator.

The conference, which takes place at least once a year at Goethe University’s Westend campus, is also aimed at people outside the university, politicians, regulators, practitioners and media representatives. The aim is to discuss viable sustainability standards on the basis of scientific findings. The next conference will take place on 10 June. In addition, there will be workshops in cooperation with the scientific community, with the aim of involving partners from African countries, for example.

"As a comprehensive university and with its claim to develop knowledge for development, sustainability and justice in the 21st century, Frankfurt's Goethe University offers the ideal conditions for looking at the topic of sustainability from a multi- and interdisciplinary perspective. The MoU with the ISSB demonstrates the great attractiveness of this interdisciplinary approach, especially for research. It is therefore a contribution to the current process of developing our sustainability strategy based on our understanding of sustainability and thus part of our contribution to Frankfurt and Hesse in developing knowledge and solutions for a society worth living in"

"The cooperation with the ISSB in Frankfurt regulated in the MoU underlines the outstanding importance that the House of Finance at Goethe University has in the academic research networks on topics of finance and monetary policy and which can now be further expanded in the area of 'Sustainable Finance' with numerous partners from academia. We look forward to making a further contribution to strengthening Frankfurt/Rhine Main as a financial center"

"The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding marks another important milestone and fulfills a key requirement of the German consortium, our funding partner. Today's event shows how important the ISSB's presence in Frankfurt is, especially in the field of science. The IFRS Foundation (ISSB) Frankfurt would like to expressly thank the House of Finance for drafting this Memorandum of Understanding. We look forward to working together to create a scientific center and academic platform"

"Through its Frankfurt office, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will engage in a continuous exchange with Goethe University and its cooperation partners to discuss current research on sustainability standards and future research and implementation issues. The ISSB supports the House of Finance in building up its academic network, not only in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region, but also in the entire EMEA region. At its April meeting, the ISSB decided to launch new research projects on risks and opportunities related to natural and human capital. The ISSB expressly welcomes the contribution of stakeholders, including Goethe University, to these research projects"

The state of Hesse already emphasized the financial expertise in Frankfurt when it applied for the seat of the ISSB in Frankfurt. The state government therefore welcomes the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the ISSB and Goethe University:

"Today's agreement is the written basis for the targeted strengthening of cooperation between the ISSB and the science location Frankfurt. This networking does not stop at Goethe University. It is important to the state government that the agreement establishes a network between scientists and institutions in the entire region and that experts for the ISSB standards are trained directly at the Frankfurt site"

"Goethe University with the House of Finance conducts research on issues relevant to the capital markets and is an enrichment for Frankfurt as a financial center. The new collaboration with the ISSB and associated institutions creates great opportunities for an intensive exchange between academia, business, media and society and looks at financial sustainability reporting from a research perspective - an important component in the future topic of sustainable finance"

As part of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the Board of Trustees of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation announced the establishment of the ISSB, which began its work in Frankfurt am Main in 2022.

Source: Abstract press release House of Finance and ISSB
Image: Uwe Dettmar

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