Standards Content

SASB recognizes that there is broad support in global capital markets for all companies—regardless of their industry—to disclose their Scope 1, Scope 2, and (where feasible) Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. SASB's approach to climate-related disclosure is different but not in conflict with such cross-industry reporting.

SASB’s standard-setting process is designed to elicit the metrics that are most useful to companies and investors in understanding and managing the direct risks and opportunities presented by climate change and other sustainability issues. This process has identified a GHG emissions metric (i.e., Scope 1) in the 22 industries that involve significant direct emissions—because these are the industries likely to face material financial impacts specifically related to their emissions. These impacts may manifest as regulatory risks and shifts in consumer demand, which in turn affect costs and revenues.

For indirect emissions, SASB Standards capture the operational and/or strategic factors that give rise to such emissions. For the 35 industries that indirectly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions through significant use of purchased electricity (i.e., Scope 2), SASB Standards recommend metrics related to understanding the amount, type (i.e., conventional or renewable), and source (i.e., if it is self-generated or purchased) of energy. Again, SASB’s research and consultation have demonstrated that these measures highlight the direct risk-management levers available to a company—and measure how the company is using them—and therefore provide actionable data to management and decision-useful information to investors.

For industries that indirectly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions upstream (e.g., from purchased materials processing and transportation), downstream (e.g., from distribution and use of products), or in other ways (e.g., from employee commuting and business travel)—in other words, Scope 3 emissions—SASB Standards recommend metrics directly related to performance in those areas, where they are financially material.

For more information on SASB's approach to GHG emissions and related topics, see the SASB Implementation Supplement: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and SASB Standards and the SASB Climate Risk Technical Bulletin.

Human capital issues are well-represented throughout SASB’s 77 industry standards, as detailed in the SASB Human Capital Bulletin. However, many issues are rapidly evolving and both companies and investors are increasingly attuned to their financial implications. As a result, investor expectations for human capital disclosure are rising. With this in mind, SASB is undertaking research and market engagement on the issue with the objective of evolving the content of the Standards in light of emerging trends. 

SASB’s ongoing Human Capital research project aims to assess this dynamic subject and has developed an evidence-based framework to support the identification of financially material impacts related to human capital management. This framework will enable the assessment of key themes within and across industries to form the basis of the recommendations of SASB’s technical staff to the Standards Board regarding possible modifications to industry Standards to incorporate new elements associated with human capital.  

Please visit the Human Capital project page for more information. 

Water and wastewater management is one of the more prevalent issues addressed in SASB Standards, appearing in 25 of 77 industries. However, in many cases, the issue can have diversified impacts on operating risk and financial performance from one industry to the next, and SASB considers these differences in setting standards.

Water risk impacts are physical in nature, such as those driven by limited natural water availability, competition for water resources, and watershed pollution. SASB considers two high-level categories of physical water risk: access to water and water quality. Additionally, SASB considers how the regulatory environment can affect physical water risks and a company’s ability to manage those risks. In establishing performance metrics, SASB aims to enable effective water management by improving understanding of “net water risk,” where net risk is a measure of a company’s total exposure to water risk impacts offset by the actions it takes to mitigate those risks.

SASB uses the following terms to describe performance metrics:

  • "Industry-specific" metrics are those that are tailored to a specific industry context.
  • “Industry-agnostic” metrics 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.

SASB's bottom-up standard-setting process is designed to identify and standardize disclosure for the sustainability issues most relevant to the creation of enterprise value in each of 77 industry verticals. As a result, SASB Standards are industry-specific and primarily contain industry-specific metrics. However, our process also reveals that 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, but we have noted increasing demand 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, our Standards Application Guidance recommends that all companies disclose information about their governance, strategy, and risk management for all SASB disclosure topics.

No. The scope of monetary losses included in the disclosure shall include only the losses that were accrued (i.e., on the statement of profits and losses) during the reporting period, which might differ from the amount paid in that period. The entity shall report the net amount of any loss or gain, including amounts reported in a prior period that are reversed during the reporting period.

We recognize that reporting companies may face different thresholds for recognition (i.e., "probable") depending on whether they are reporting under US GAAP or IFRS standards. Nevertheless, SASB’s Standards Application Guidance recommends that, when providing disclosure in accordance with SASB Standards, companies do so in a way that is consistent with their standardized financial reporting.

All losses accrued during the reporting period shall be included in the scope of disclosure.