SASB Standards use the following terms to describe performance metrics:
- "Industry-based" metrics are those that are tailored to a particular industry context.
- “Industry-agnostic” metrics are those that can be used to measure performance on a topic in a range of different industry contexts.
- “Cross-industry” metrics are applied consistently across all industries.
Because SASB Standards are designed to identify and standardize disclosure for the sustainability issues most relevant to the creation of enterprise value in each of 77 industry verticals, SASB Standards are industry-based and primarily contain industry-based metrics. However, many risks and opportunities cut across industries and sectors and those issues in many cases can be measured consistently across different business models (i.e., using "industry-agnostic" metrics). For example, SASB disclosure topics related to energy management (35 industries), employee health and safety (26 industries) and water management (25 industries) use identical or near-identical metrics in most relevant industry contexts.
SASB Standards do not currently contain "cross-industry" quantitative metrics, although demand has increased for certain metrics—such as those related to human capital management and climate change—to be more consistently applied across all industries, and these metrics are the subject of ongoing research. For qualitative disclosure, SASB Standards Application Guidance recommends that all companies disclose information about their governance, strategy and risk management for all SASB disclosure topics.