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SASB: Who, What, Why, How?
By now, sustainability reporting is a common phenomenon, with the many investor, commercial real estate, and mainstream-focused reporting frameworks out there. In this article, we’ll be diving into one of the investor-focused sustainability reporting frameworks: The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). We’ll explore what it is, why companies should utilize SASB, how to get started reporting, and who to go to for SASB reporting help.
What is SASB?
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) was founded in 2011 with a mission of “helping businesses around the world identify, manage, and report on the sustainability topics that matter most to their investors.” In other words, SASB is bridging the gap between sustainability reporting and financial reporting. To accomplish this, SASB has developed 77 sets of industry-specific standards that focus on what they have determined to be the most financially material topics for each industry. According to SASB, these are “issues that are reasonably likely to impact the financial condition or operating performance of a company and therefore are most important to investors.”
How to Get Started with SASB
Each of the 77 SASB standards is downloadable for free on SASB’s website. There is no portal or questionnaire; companies are encouraged to use the standards in their own financial reporting.
In addition, there is “The SASB Materiality Map ®,” an interactive tool that identifies and compares disclosure topics across different industries and sectors. In simpler terms, the map highlights the most relevant issues for any given industry and sector, helping your company identify which issues it should be exploring and reporting on, and helping investors identify where they should focus on when analyzing a given company or industry. The map includes 26 sustainability issues organized under five sustainability dimensions: Social Capital, Human Capital, Business Model & Innovation, Leadership & Governance, and Environment. The list was refined by focusing on issues that are most likely to have a financial impact on a company.
Finally, it may be valuable to review the disclosures of other SASB Standards reporters in your industry. Doing this competitive research on your industry can point your company in the right direction for starting out with SASB.
Why Should You Report to SASB?
Why should you report to SASB? For one thing, it’s preferred by investors. Investors want comparable, consistent, and reliable data on financial material sustainability factors, which is exactly what SASB provides. In addition, SASB’s standards are industry specific, which reduces reporting costs and minimizes noise by surfacing the most relevant information. The standards also can be used with other frameworks and standards, including those provided by the TCFD and IIRC. Many companies use both SASB and GRI Standards to meet the requirements of various audiences.
Who Can Provide Help With Reporting to SASB?
Look no further- WatchWire is here to help with all your SASB needs and questions! WatchWire is an integrated energy and sustainability management platform that can compile, audit, and analyze your sustainability data, as described above. WatchWire also integrates directly with SASB for seamless reporting. To discover more about WatchWire and its capabilities, you can visit our website, blog, or resource library, request a demo, or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to keep up-to-date on the latest energy and sustainability insights, news, and resources.
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