Standard-Setting Process

The SASB Standards were published in 2018, following six years of research and extensive market input. SASB continues to conduct research, engage with corporate professionals, investors, and subject matter experts, and monitor existing, evolving, and emerging sustainability issues. We approach changes to the Standards through our rigorous due process which includes evidence-based research, broad and balanced stakeholder participation, public transparency, and independent oversight and direction from the Standards Board. For documentation of past Standard-setting activities, please visit the Standard-Setting Archive.

SASB approaches updates to the Standards using a project-based model, enabling focused Standard-setting to effectively address key issues. This model gives SASB the ability to address broad themes, regulatory changes, and other trends which affect multiple sectors, while still retaining the ability to pursue targeted, industry-specific issues where appropriate. Research and market engagement provides us with insights that impact the prioritization of projects.

The Standards Board’s due process involves a set of distinct but connected activities centered around three key Standards Board decisions:

  • Initiating a Standard-setting project
  • Proposing a Standards update 
  • Issuing a Standards update

SASB staff works under the guidance of the Standards Board to monitor industries and issues to develop research projects. These investigative projects lead to staff recommendations for the board, who then determine whether the findings merit the initiation of a Standard-setting project.

Technical staff pursue a variety of activities, centered around research and consultation, to support the development of a proposed Standards update. These activities may include consultation with SASB’s advisory groups, and/or other interested persons and organizations and may include the public issuance of briefing documents or discussion papers.

The Standards Board solicits and encourages investors, companies, and subject matter experts to submit comments on any proposed Standards update during formal public comment periods. Public comments are a key input that the Standards Board considers when voting whether to approve the proposed new or amended Standards.

After a public comment period has closed the Standards Board decides on whether to vote to approve the proposed Standards update. To support such deliberations, technical staff may produce summaries of the feedback received, or summaries of other related research and/or consultations.

Upon issuance of a new or amended Standard, the Standards Board and technical staff seek to assess the market’s use and implementation of the Standard. Post-implementation review helps ensure that the SASB Standards are accomplishing their intended purposes of being cost-effective and decision-useful.


Give Feedback

We welcome general feedback from industry and issue experts to inform our thinking on research prioritization.