The first step to knowing how to make a business more sustainable is to identify all risks and opportunities associated with a company’s core activities. Today, the non-profit Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) was launched to identify industry-specific metrics to make that job easier.
Companies aren’t bound to report CO2 emissions, community development, and employee engagement in the same way they report profits and financial liabilities. SASB will develop accounting standards to help companies, investors and the public prioritize which non-financial risks and opportunities are most important to each type of business.
Bloomberg LP is a key supporter to this effort and has been involved with the group since its inception in 2011. Bloomberg is also helping with SASB’s “Materiality Map” of industry priorities by contributing data and analytic advice.
“Good information is essential for creating trust in the capital markets,” said Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Bloomberg LP. “We have financial fundamentals – now we need sustainability fundamentals. SASB will create the standards that will enable investors to have a more complete view of risks and opportunities in a form that can be compared and benchmarked.”
SASB’s Materiality Map will weigh the priority of sustainability issues by industry across 10 sectors, which is useful for asset allocation strategies and understanding exposure to certain kinds of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk. SASB will develop key performance indicators unique to each of 89 industries suitable for disclosure in the Form 10-K, thereby facilitating comparable corporate reporting.
Additional SASB support comes from the Rockefeller Foundation, Generation Foundation and Metanoia Fund.
Curtis Ravenel, global head of sustainability at Bloomberg