wide green field and blue sky, indicating possibilities

Canada is looking to demonstrate leadership on environmental, social and governance reporting with a bid to host the body that will oversee global sustainability standards.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland sent a letter Wednesday to the head of the U.K.-based International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation — which is creating the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) — offering to host the board’s headquarters. The ISSB is being created to develop consistent and comparable global sustainability standards for financial reporting.

“Canada recognizes the importance of effective disclosures based on high-quality data in addressing climate change and nature degradation, improving opportunities for women, visible minorities and other underrepresented groups, and enhancing public and private sector governance,” Freeland wrote.

“Canada is a reliable, multilateral partner dedicated to promoting sustainable outcomes that would be respectful of an organization whose objective is to develop global sustainability standards on behalf of over 140 member countries.”

Her letter listed organizations willing to provide financial backing for the project, a coalition that includes major financial institutions, pension plans and regulators.

The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada helped coordinate the coalition and offered interim office space and operational support for the ISSB.

“Our major cities are one flight away from many of the world financial markets — and our country’s skilled, diverse and multilingual workforce, including leaders in sustainability and standard setting, make Canada an ideal location for the global headquarters of the ISSB,” said CPA Canada president and CEO Charles-Antoine St-Jean in a statement.

Freeland’s letter didn’t indicate where the headquarters would be located but six cities were listed among the project’s supporters: Calgary, Mississauga, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

The IFRS trustees are expected to make a decision about the ISSB by the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November.