IFRS Foundation

Why Companies Use SASB Standards

As of August 2022, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) of the IFRS Foundation assumed responsibility for the SASB Standards. The ISSB has committed to build on the industry-based SASB Standards and leverage SASB’s industry-based approach to standards development. The ISSB encourages preparers and investors to continue to provide full support for and to use the SASB Standards until IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards replace SASB Standards.

Businesses face challenges and opportunities affecting their long-term sustainability, from climate change and resource constraints to urbanization and technological innovation. Institutional investors need to evaluate how these issues impact companies to inform their investment decisions. SASB Standards help companies around the world identify, measure, and manage the subset of ESG topics that most directly impact long-term enterprise value creation.

Investors across asset classes want comparable, consistent, and reliable data on financially material sustainability factors. These same investors recognize SASB Standards as a core tool to achieve this disclosure.

On average, each standard has six disclosure topics and 13 accounting metrics.

The issues that are most likely to impact financial performance vary by industry. Industry-based disclosure reduces costs and minimizes noise by surfacing the most relevant information.

SASB Standards are a practical tool for implementing principles-based frameworks, including those provided by the TCFD and IIRC. Many companies use both SASB and GRI Standards to meet the needs of various audiences. Additionally, the SASB Standards have been consolidated into the materials of the IFRS Foundation as implementation guidance. This is consistent with [draft] IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standard S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information, which requires companies to consider SASB Standards to identify sustainability-related risks and opportunities and to develop appropriate disclosures. (Certain elements of SASB Standards have also been incorporated into the industry-based requirements of IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures.)

Learn more about the future of the SASB Standards under the ISSB.

Corporate Perspectives
Rudi Bless
Chief Accounting Officer
Bank of America
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We also appreciate how the SASB Standards’ format and structure provides a direct and straightforward way of presenting sustainability information that is powerful and helps us explain our progress to investors.
Beth Sasfai
Senior Vice President, Corporate Governance & Chief ESG Officer
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Many of our largest investors strongly encouraged us to use the SASB framework as the preferred way to provide them with the most decision-useful Verizon ESG information.
Rhona DelFrari
Vice President, Sustainability & Engagement
Cenovus Energy
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SASB’s focus on industry-specific metrics and disclosures can be rounded out by GRI’s focus on broader economic, environmental, and social impacts.
Ginny Cassidy
Director, Enterprise Sustainability Program
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There’s a groundswell of acknowledgement that certain environmental and social factors are financially material and having a framework like SASB gives companies a starting point to determine what they should be thinking about and what they should be disclosing.
Mikkel Skougaard
Group ESG Reporting Senior Expert
MOL Group
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SASB standards were the right fit for at least two reasons: 1) The standards are widely recognized and supported by global investors, and 2) because of their focus on financial materiality, SASB standards allowed us to test our own materiality assumptions. In this way, SASB standards provided a needed “link” back into our capital markets-focused reporting, helping us supply providers of capital with financially material, decision useful, and industry specific ESG information.