Even high-quality information can have limited utility if it isn’t communicated effectively to its intended users. For this reason, a company should consider how to best present SASB disclosure topics and metrics in its core communications to investors, along with deciding what contextual information to provide. To help companies meet this objective, SASB provides certain guidance in the introduction to each industry standard and in SASB’s Standards Application Guidance, much of which is addressed and supplemented here.
Although SASB’s sustainability accounting metrics have been standardized, companies enjoy a certain amount of leeway in determining how to present their disclosures. For example, they may wish to consider how metrics might best be formatted to optimize their utility to investors, what supplementary information may be required for a clear understanding, which metrics may need to be omitted or modified to most effectively reflect the company’s operations, and how the disclosures might be woven into a broader narrative about the firm’s approach to long-term value creation.
Corporate reporting, like any communications exercise, should be guided by the needs of its intended audience. Thus, when preparing their SASB-aligned disclosures, companies should consider how the standards can help them produce disclosures that support meaningful analysis and decision making by investors and other providers of capital.