Guidelines Released to Help Financial Sector Report on Sustainability to SEC 

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 20, 2014 in New York City. Close

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 20, 2014 in New York City.

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Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 20, 2014 in New York City.

Bloomberg BNA – A nonprofit standards-setting organization today released voluntary guidelines to help commercial banks, insurance companies and others in the financial sector report on relevant sustainability issues in annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The financial sector standards are part of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board's effort to improve the quality and rate of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure in mandatory SEC filings, including annual 10-K reports, among publicly listed companies in 10 sectors.

The SEC has been criticized for failing to enforce its rules for corporate reporting on climate risk in particular. A recent report from Ceres said the majority of financial reporting on climate change from S&P 500 companies is too brief and largely superficial.

SASB's standards give the financial sector guidance on how to disclose a number of climate-related risks, including commercial bank lending to carbon-intensive industries and carbon embedded in the asset management industry.

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