When it comes to sustainability in the financial sector, now more than ever, the world needs consistent, comparable global reporting standards. And Montréal will be an important part of shaping that sustainable future.
Montréal has been selected as one of two cities that will host the offices of a new international agency that addresses financial sustainability. Developed by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation, this new international organization — called the International Sustainability Standards Board — will set sustainability disclosure standards for companies around the world. Montréal was selected, along with Frankfurt, to closely support the standards board and engage various stakeholders.
Why does sustainability have to do with finance?
Sustainable finance goes beyond merely the financial aspect. It takes into account impacts on environment, social, and governance dimensions. It considers the more global effects that money has on the economy beyond growth, and it encourages disclosure of such measurables as carbon footprint and gender equity on boards of directors. The idea is that financial growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. With the right management, they can exist together.
Why a standards board?
The intention of the ISSB is to deliver a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosure standards that provide investors and other capital market participants with information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities to help them make informed decisions.
What is the IFRS?
The IFRS Foundation is a not-for-profit, public interest organization established to develop a single set of high-quality, understandable, enforceable, and globally accepted accounting standards that bring transparency to financial information. This enables investors and other market participants to make informed economic decisions. IFRS Standards are currently required in more than 140 jurisdictions and permitted in many more.
The world loves to meet in Montréal. The city has the third highest concentration of international organizations in the Americas (more than 65). More importantly, sustainable finance is part of Montreal's DNA. The city ranks first in Canada and third in North America among the 78 financial centres that were considered in a Global Green Finance Index 7 (GGFI 7) ranking.
Montréal’s bid — managed by Montréal International and Finance Montréal — was supported by many members in the business, academic, and environmental communities, and by representatives from all levels of government. The project also engaged the country’s entire financial community, which made a significant contribution to this project.
Read this next: Montréal is Canada’s cybersecurity capital (and here’s why)