Established in 2011, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is the independent standards-setting organization for sustainability accounting standards that meet the needs of investors by fostering high-quality disclosure of material sustainability information. The standards focus on known trends and uncertainties that are reasonably likely to affect the financial condition or operating performance of a company and therefore would be considered material under Regulation S-K. The standards are designed to improve the effectiveness and comparability of corporate disclosure on material environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in SEC filings such as Forms 8-K,10-K, 20- F, and 40-F. Based on a rigorous process that includes evidence-based research and broad, balanced stakeholder participation, the SASB currently maintains provisional standards for 79 industries across 11 sectors. The SASB Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 non-profit, is responsible for the funding and oversight of the SASB.
The SASB Standards Board, seated in 2017, comprises nine members, representing a diversity of key perspectives, including standards-setting, corporate reporting, and investing and financial analysis. The Standards Board is responsible for guiding the standard-setting process and for the quality of its outcomes. The SASB operates in accordance with its primary governance documents, the Rules of Procedure and Conceptual Framework. The Conceptual Framework sets out the basic concepts, principles, definitions, and objectives that guide the SASB in its approach to setting standards for sustainability related matters. The Rules of Procedure establish the processes and practices followed by the SASB in its standard-setting activities, and in its oversight of related work undertaken by the SASB staff. In its guidance and oversight role, the SASB operates in a sector committee structure, which assigns a minimum of three Standards Board members to each sector for review, discussion, and liaising with staff.