Research on SASB

The following is a list of research that either references or relates to SASB Standards. If you’re interested in publishing research related to SASB Standards and would like to receive the standards, materiality map, or other associated information in Excel form, please email learn[at]


Derek Bingham, Evan Tylenda, Hugo Scott-Gall, Jaako Kooroshy, Gabriel Wilson-Otto, Christopher Vilburn. The PM’s Guide to the ESG Revolution. (GS Sustain, April 18, 2017).  This paper discusses how ESG integration, with the right focus, can add to mainstream investors’ risk analysis, and offers practical implementation advice.


Sandra McCullagh, Zoe Whitton, and Richard Hitchens, ESG-Alpha: I Am a Material Girl. (Credit Suisse Equity Research, July 27, 2016). This study assesses the impact of different approaches to materiality on performance, and finds that SASB’s materiality framework yields improved returns to other approaches.


Mozaffar Khan, George Serafeim and Aaron Yoon, Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality (Harvard Business School, March 9, 2015). This is the first significant study to differentiate between those sustainability factors that are likely to have material impacts and those that are not, using SASB’s Provisional Standards to make this determination. Using historical data, the study tracked the performance of 2,307 unique firms over 13,397 unique firm-years across six sectors and 45 industries, and found that firms enjoyed significantly higher market returns when they addressed material sustainability factors, and still higher returns when they efficiently concentrated on material sustainability factors to the exclusion of immaterial sustainability factors.


Steve Lydenberg, Jean Rogers, PhD, and David Wood, PhD. From Transparency to Performance (Initiative for Responsible Investment, Harvard University, August 2010). This paper developed and tested a methodology for determining industry-specific material issues and associated performance indicators. Due to an overwhelmingly positive response to the study, the authors began exploring ways to develop a full set of industry indicators, including the creation of an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit that came to be SASB.



SASB has commissioned an independent study to examine the potential economic effects of widespread adoption of sustainability Standards by U.S. companies. The academic research team includes Christian Leuz and Hans Christensen (University of Chicago Booth School of Business) and Luzi Hail (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania). The researchers plan to deliver findings in Q3 2018.