What does it mean if my investor is a signatory to SASB?

September 23, 2020

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has developed a set of 77 industry standards, designed to identify financially material sustainability topics. SASB’s Materiality Map provides a comprehensive overview of industry-specific metrics for disclosure. 


For Investors, SASB’s standards and metrics can provide a method of obtaining non-financial, comparable and consistent information to help them make informed investment decisions. Specifically, their Engagement Overview can help Asset Managers better understand the industry-specific, climate-related concerns for investments.


About SASB’s founding: 


SASB was originally founded in 2011 by Jean Rogers. After six years of development, SASB’s accounting standards were first published in November 2018. The goal of the standards is, “to establish industry-specific disclosure standards across ESG topics that facilitate communication between companies and investors about financially material, decision-useful information. Such information should be relevant, reliable and comparable across companies on a global basis.”


What are the three key aspects of SASB are:


Financially Material: SASB’s mission is to help businesses around the world identify, manage and report on the sustainability topics that matter most to their investors.

Market Informed: SASB standards are developed based on extensive feedback from companies, investors, and other market participants as part of a transparent, publicly-documented process.

Industry Specific: SASB standards differ by industry, enabling investors and companies to compare performance from company to company within an industry.


SASB’s Materiality Map® identifies sustainability issues that are likely to affect the financial condition or operating performance of companies within an industry. The tool is useful for corporations or investors trying to identify specific issues relating to industries. This can help corporations focus on specific issues that will lead to material improvements in sustainability.


Who uses SASB today? 


Currently, over 120 global corporations are using SASB’s standards in their ESG reporting. In addition, over 50 asset managers with over $34 trillion in AUM are on SASB’s Investor Advisory Group (IAG) including BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Members of the IAG are committed to improving the quality of sustainability-related disclosure.