Frankfurt has joined a growing list of cities bidding to host the headquarters of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation’s (IFRS) proposed International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

In a statement from Frankfurt Main Finance, the city’s financial center initiative, Frankfurt’s head of economic affairs, Markus Frank, and Gerhard Wiesheu, President of the Frankfurt Main Finance made the case for the city’s selection as ISSB host:

“Frankfurt is the most important financial center in continental Europe and therefore the ideal location for the ISSB. The financial sector with all its different actors, but also investors and consumers, supports this project. The ISSB will benefit enormously from this openness to intensive exchange and close cooperation.”

The IFRS is looking to establish the ISSB in order to address the emerging need for global sustainability reporting standards. In October 2020, the IFRS initiated a consultation process seeking input on the potential formation of a global sustainability reporting standards board, and on the Foundation’s own place in that process. After receiving positive responses to its consultation paper, the IFRS launched a working group including other sustainability and standards-focused organizations, and released its views towards the strategic direction to be taken in the formation of the new ISSB, focusing on information that is material to the decisions of investors, lenders and other creditors, beginning with climate-related issues, and extending to other ESG matters. 

Other bidders for the ISSB include Switzerland, which proposed Geneva for the board’s headquarters last week, and Canada, which submitted its bid in July.

Frankfurt’s bid follows the recent launch by the German government of a new sustainable finance strategy, including plans for a set of requirements for sustainability reporting for companies, with the government stressing the need for reliable and comparable information indicating how sustainability risks and opportunities affect companies’ business models and the impact of companies’ activities on the environment and human rights.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said:

“We want to anchor sustainability as a guiding principle in the financial market, and Germany develop into a leading location for Sustainable Finance with the Sustainable Finance Strategy.”

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