The SASB considers the following set of principles when identifying sustainability topics that warrant an industry Standard. Each potential topic is evaluated against these principles before being proposed for inclusion in an industry Standard, helping to focus the Standards on only the critical sustainability topics that are most likely to require disclosure under Regulation S-K.
- Potential to affect corporate value. Through research and stakeholder input, the SASB identifies topics that can or do affect operational and financial performance through three channels of impact: (1) revenues and costs, (2) assets and liabilities, and (3) cost of capital or risk profile.
- Of interest to investors. The SASB addresses issues likely to be of interest to investors by assessing whether a topic emerges from the “total mix” of information available through the existence of, or potential for, impacts on five factors: (1) direct financial impacts and risk; (2) legal, regulatory, and policy drivers; (3) industry norms, best practices, and competitive drivers; (4) stakeholder concerns that could lead to financial impacts; and (5) opportunities for innovation.
- Relevant across an industry. The SASB addresses topics that are systemic to an industry and/or represent risks and opportunities unique to the industry and which, therefore, are likely to apply to many companies within the industry.
- Actionable by companies. The SASB assesses whether broad sustainability trends can be translated into industry-specific topics that are within the control or influence of individual companies.
- Reflective of stakeholder (investor and issuer) consensus. The SASB considers whether there is consensus among issuers and investors that each disclosure topic is reasonably likely to constitute material information for most companies in the industry.
To view disclosure topic tables, click here.