Market Perspectives

SASB continues to gain traction among thought leaders across disciplines seeking to better understand, price, and manage ESG-related risk and opportunities. See what investors, consultants, and representatives of the accounting profession are saying about the importance of SASB’s contributions to understanding the intersection between corporate contributions to societal outcomes and related financial materiality – and why standardized communication of corporate performance on those issues is beneficial to companies trying to better manage such issues and their investors.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Why ESG Is Too Critical to Ignore: Understanding how companies and investors are positioned for ESG

Find out why Savita Subramanian, Head of U.S. Equity and Quantitative Strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research says sees she has “never seen anything as effective as ESG characteristics when it comes to anticipating future earnings and volatility of U.S. corporations.”

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Boston Consulting Group, Total Societal Impact: A New Lens for Strategy

Should companies focus on maximizing shareholder returns or stakeholder value? BCG studied companies in five industries and found this to be a false choice. Learn about the statistically significant links between performance on ESG topics and company valuations and margins. Among the eight success factors BCG identified for companies aiming to deliver both shareholder returns and societal impact are the need for appropriate management structure, governance, and incentives, as well is a focus on a “small and distinctive set of… areas that are relevant to their industry and in which they can have a meaningful, positive impact.”

CFA Institute, Climate Change Analysis in the Investment Process

This report highlights the economic and market implications of climate change and reviews the resources available for investors to incorporate these risks and opportunities into their financial analysis and management. The report notes that, “At CFA Institute, we consider SASB a key research tool for investors looking into climate-related data because of SASB’s focus on materiality.”

Crowe Horwath, Want to Get Serious About Sustainability? Use SASB’s Standards to Inform ERM

Gregg Anderson, CIA, CRMA, Managing Director at Crowe, recently discussed SASB’s role in connecting companies and investors with reliable and comparable data.

“First of all, I think investors want to understand how companies are managing their ESG risks and opportunities. One of the best ways a company can do this, is to demonstrate that they have meaningful and reliable ESG data that is useful to manage the business. SASB has already worked with the investor community to identify the ESG topics that are meaningful for 77 distinct industries. On average, each industry standard has just five disclosure topics.  SASB puts a spotlight on these topics.”

Governance Insights Center, PwC’s ESG Pulse 2019

PwC discovered a substantial gap between the perspectives of management and investors regarding environmental, social, and governance issues and how performance on those issues is reported – but also notes that SASB could help address some of the issues that investors have complained about, including lack of comparable data.

McKinsey & Company, More than values: The value-based sustainability reporting that investors want

A 2019 McKinsey survey “uncovered something that should concern corporate executives and board members: investors say they cannot readily use companies’ sustainability disclosures to inform investment decisions and advice accurately.” What do investors want? Consistent and reliable data focused on financial materiality.

SASB Blog, Why Walden Supports SASB

Hear from Heidi Soumerai, CFA, Managing Director at Walden Asset Management, on why Walden supports SASB.
Note: This blog was written prior to Boston Trust Walden’s name change in 2019.

SASB and ESG reporting were key discussion points at the December 13, 2018 meeting of the SEC Investor Advisory Committee. Dan Goelzer describes the history of ESG reporting (1:20-1:33), Janine Guillot gives an overview of SASB (1:33-1:43), and Curtis Ravenel speaks about TCFD and Bloomberg’s view of the SASB approach (1:44-1:54).

SASB Foundation Board Chair Emeritus Michael Bloomberg Speaks on SASB