To continue to progress, the adherence of the business community to the principles and objectives of sustainable finance and economy is increasingly hampered by the lack of measurement and verification standards.

This general observation among participants at the Sustainable Finance Summit, which takes place in Montreal on Tuesday and Wednesday, could experience a major outcome in June, with the publication of the first statement of accounting standards for sustainable economy by the international organization ISSB, or International Sustainability Standards Board.

“Investors and financiers remain confused when it comes to finance and sustainable economics. Hence the importance of soon establishing accounting standards related to sustainable economy that are a common language between investors and corporate financiers,” said Jingdong Hua, ISSB Vice President and Director of its new administrative headquarters for the Americas established in Montreal.

In order to support the growth of sustainable finance in the economy, “the measurement and verification standards for the sustainable economy must become as reliable and established as the accounting standards in use in Canada and internationally. said Charles-Antoine St-Jean, Chair of the new Canadian Sustainability Reporting Standards Board (CSSB).

It is this new CSSB that will lead the implementation in Canada of the next sustainable economy accounting standards that are being developed internationally by the ISSB. This implementation will also be carried out in close collaboration with the accounting authorities in Canada.

“In the meantime, we must also prepare certification and verification processes for these new ISSB standards that are of high quality and as reliable as the accounting processes already in place. »

On the business side, the strongest testimony in favor of better defined accounting standards for sustainable economics and “carbon neutrality” came from a vice-president of Cascades, a large manufacturer of paper packaging and paper products. hygiene from recycled fibres.

“We’ve been collecting and managing data about our carbon footprint and energy efficiency for 25 years. Little considered at the time in our sector of activity, this information has become over the years a major competitive advantage in our industry which attracts new customers to us,” said Hugo D’Amours, Vice-President, Public Affairs and sustainable development, at Cascades.

And to maintain this competitive advantage, Cascades now aspires to enhance its collection of sustainable economy data “to a level as solid as that of our accounting and financial data”.