Are we gonna get “bona fide” sustainability standards?

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Check out this key excerpt from this note by Bill Baue (also see this note by Bill):

I’m sure you’ve heard that IFRS appointed ousted Danone CEO / Board Chair Emmanuel Faber to Chair the International ????? Standards Board (I?SB).

(I represent the organization thus, as it claims to be a sustainability standards board, yet it does not embrace the key defining aspects of sustainability: thresholds and inside-out impacts. So I am now calling it I?SB.)

Many of you are cheering. I’m not. I’m judging from the evidence available to me. I’ll discuss 2 pieces of evidence here. First, Faber’s quote in the IFRS press release:

“Investors are demanding high quality, globally comparable sustainability information on which to make informed investment decisions. The ISSB represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fulfil that need in a fast-changing world, where climate in particular will drive major shifts in the coming years… I’m excited about the opportunity to work with stakeholders across the world in developing *ESG standards* that inform global capital allocations, market prices and cost of capital, working alongside the IASB.”

As you can see from the emphasis I added, Faber commits the standard “bait-and-switch” tactic of leading with #sustainability, then quietly shifting to #ESG, such that the two terms are conflated, and treated as synonymous.To me, this is a huge red flag. The *last* thing the world needs is ESG standards. What the world needs is *bona fide* sustainability standards, which currently do not exist. (And no, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Universal Standards are NOT sustainability standards, after they removed “performance” from the Sustainability Context Principle. You can hear me talk about that elsewhere.)