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Comment Period Open on New Sustainability Accounting Standards

business_man_with_eco_notebook-blog.jpgFour years ago, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) set out to identify the sustainability disclosure topics and metrics that are material, decision-useful, and cost-effective for companies. In early April 2016, the SASB completed provisional sustainability accounting standards for 79 industries in 10 sectors by issuing provisional standards for Infrastructure.

You are now invited to provide input on the proposed process to codify the standards during a 90-day comment period that ends 6 July.

More than 2,800 individuals participated in SASB’s industry working groups, providing expert input to ensure the standards are cost-effective for companies and decision-useful for investors. In these working groups, 82 percent of issuers and investors agreed that SASB’s disclosure topics are likely to constitute material information, and thus warrant a standard for disclosure in mandatory filings.

SASB standards are intended to provide guidance to company management, which is ultimately responsible for determining the company information that is material and should therefore be included in their filings. The standards provide companies with standardized metrics designed to communicate performance on sustainability topics. When making a disclosure, companies can use the standards to help ensure that their disclosure is decision-useful, relevant, comparable, and complete.

“We’ve asked for your involvement before, and we’re asking for your involvement again. SASB’s approach to setting standards is for the market, by the market. As such, your voice plays a critical role,” says SASB CEO Jean Rogers. “Submit a comment on our proposed codification process. Don’t miss your opportunity to help shape the future of sustainability accounting as the standards become codified.”

For more information, visit www.sasb.org.