Two weeks ago, 1,306 people from 53 countries attended part one of our new Implementation Webinar Series. I got to share the screen with SASB Foundation CEO Janine Guillot and BlackRock Managing Director Michelle Edkins to give an overview and roadmap for companies looking to join the hundreds of others already using SASB standards to connect with investors on sustainability. Especially now, in the Covid-19 crisis, with the media regularly asking if ESG is a luxury companies can no longer afford, that number of participants gave a clear answer: ESG is not a luxury, it’s a basic need and a precursor of resilience.
As the conversation around corporate sustainability continues to shift from “why” to “how,” SASB has been working on practical resources to help companies meet rising investor demand for industry-specific, financially material reporting. This webinar series—which we’ve fashioned as a four-part “master class”—is the most dynamic and accessible. Last week’s SASB 101 installment addressed key questions such as:
- Why the focus of institutional investors is coalescing around SASB, as demonstrated by our Investor Advisory Group (IAG), made up of 50+ leading global asset owners and asset managers with more than $40 trillion in AUM
- How SASB’s laser-like focus on investors complements the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
- How SASB is structured with exemplary governance and independent standard-setting rooted in evidence and shaped by the market
- Why investors like BlackRock need consistent, comparable, reliable sustainability information from companies and how they use it
- How companies today—across 51 industries in 30 countries—are using SASB standards in their annual reports, integrated reports, sustainability reports, stand-alone SASB reports and IR websites.
In the upcoming episodes, we’ll dig more into the nuts and bolts of SASB implementation. Corporate sustainability officers, institutional investors and SASB’s own experts will join me to share tips on getting started, preparing your report and setting yourself up for continuous improvement. If you haven’t already, please register to join us. (Note that registration is limited to 3,000 people.)
Neil Stewart is SASB’s Director of Corporate Outreach.