Standard Setting

SASB Standards identify sustainability disclosure topics that are reasonably likely to significantly impact the financial condition, operating performance, or risk profile of the typical company in each of 77 industries. Therefore, SASB Standards are a useful tool to guide company disclosure of sustainability information that a company has determined to be material to its business. Although different disclosure frameworks and standards have adopted a range of definitions of “materiality” focused on different users and objectives, SASB Standards are designed to facilitate the disclosure of the subset of sustainability information most likely to be considered by investors in their assessments of enterprise value. SASB Standards are designed to be used in communication to investors and other providers of financial capital.

Oversight of the SASB Standards has transitioned from the SASB Standards Board to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) of the IFRS Foundation. To stay informed about the work of the ISSB and receive notifications of IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards exposure drafts open for public comment, visit the IFRS Foundation's notifications dashboard.

Oversight of the SASB Standards has transitioned from the SASB Standards Board to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) of the IFRS Foundation. The IFRS Foundation transparently provides stakeholders with a view into the ISSB’s agenda, activities, deliberations, decisions, active projects and other standards-related updates.

As foundational work in 2023, the ISSB will enhance the international applicability of the SASB Standards and continue SASB Standards projects handed over by the VRF. In other words, the ISSB is not just preserving the SASB Standards, it is updating and improving them to provide a solid footing when companies use them when applying the new IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. As part of that process, a group of ISSB members—chaired by Jeff Hales, former Chair of the SASB Standards Board—has been established and tasked with developing recommendations for the ISSB related to the maintenance, evolution and enhancement of the SASB Standards. The group will develop drafts of the required exposure drafts of amendments to the SASB Standards and, after considering the stakeholder feedback, drafts of the final amendments. The ISSB as a full board will consider the recommendations of this group in ISSB meetings (which are public) and ratify the exposure drafts and, subsequently the final amendments prepared by the group. The comment period for the exposure drafts will be the same as for those related to IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards.

Visit the IFRS Foundation notifications dashboard to stay informed about the work of the ISSB.

The approach to governance in the SASB Standards differs from a more traditional assessment of board structures, processes and shareholder rights. Because many of these traditional governance topics are addressed by existing regulation—including stock exchange listing requirements and industry-based or jurisdictional principles and codes—SASB Standards instead include industry-based performance metrics likely to serve as indicators of governance quality, such as fines and settlements, violations, accidents, etc. In this regard, SASB Standards recognize that while corporate governance drives value across every sector, each industry also has its own unique governance profile. For example, the governance issues most likely to be considered in investors’ assessments of enterprise value might involve systemic risks (as in the Financials sector), or operations in highly regulated markets (as in the Infrastructure sector) SASB Standards metrics for these and other issues are intended to complement—not replace—existing, well-established frameworks for reporting on traditional governance issues, such as those developed by the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and the Investor Stewardship Group.