TruValue Labs has partnered with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) to develop Insight360™ SASB Edition. This product delivers timely and material ESG Insights using the SASB standards, which are widely considered to be the leader for identifying material sustainability issues by industry.
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board sets industry-specific standards for corporate sustainability disclosure, with a view towards ensuring that disclosure is material, comparable, and decision-useful for investors. SASB standards are designed for the disclosure of material sustainability information in mandatory SEC filings, such as Form 10-K and 20-F.
SASB envisions a world where a shared understanding of corporate sustainability performance allows companies and investors to make informed decisions that drive value and improve sustainability outcomes.
The History of SASB
The idea for SASB was born out of a 2010 research paper titled “From Transparency to Performance: Industry-Based Sustainability Reporting on Key Issues” published by the Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI) at Harvard University. SASB was incorporated in July, 2011 and has quickly grown into a globally recognized standard setting body, that is chaired by Michael Bloomberg.
The SASB Difference
The reason for SASB’s quick ascent is the organization’s unique approach to standard setting. SASB has chosen to focus on the following items in order to differentiate itself.
SASB built its standards using the U.S. Supreme Court definition of materiality in order to fit the standards of U.S. mandatory public filings. Standards identify sustainability issues that are likely to affect the financial condition or operating performance of companies in an industry. SASB’s goal is for companies to provide information to investors so that capital markets are more efficient.
Every SASB Metric has been selected with the intention of providing investors decision-useful information.
When possible, SASB identifies metrics that are already being used by specific industries in order to make the standards as cost effective as possible for corporate issuers.
SASB develops unique standards for 79 industries, which means they are producing a far more granular and focused set of standards than any other sustainability standard setter.
Every sustainability topic included in SASB’s Standard is anchored in evidence based research that links each topic to financial value drivers.
SASB used an inclusive standard setting process, receiving input from thousands of industry subject matter experts representing investors, companies, and third party intermediaries.
Due to these differentiating factors, data based on SASB standards allow for the next generation of ESG integration in investment decision-making.
SASB Materiality Standards
TruValue Labs has integrated the SASB Materiality Map standards into Insight360. SASB’s Materiality Map standards includes 5 Sustainability Dimensions and 30 General issue Categories, which make up SASB’s universe of ESG issues. Underlying each general issue category is a set of industry-specific sustainability disclosure topics in SASB standards.
Sustainable Industry Classification System™ (SICS™)
To better categorize companies that share similar resource intensity, as well as sustainability risks and opportunities, SASB has created the SICS. At the highest level SICS has 10 vertical sectors and at its most granular level there are 79 industries. TruValue Labs has integrated SICS into Insight360: SASB Edition, therefore all 8,000+ companies covered in the tool have been mapped to a SICS Sector and Industry.
Setting the Market Standard
Since SASB’s founding, the organization has gained significant traction with the investment community, as evidenced by its impressive board, which includes two former SEC chairmen and the former chair of FASB. In addition, SASB has built a robust Investor Advisory Group. SASB is also gaining acceptance in the academic space. Universities are publishing studies linking SASB’s Materiality standards to corporate financial performance, such as “Corporate Sustainability: First Evidence on Materiality,” a recent paper by Harvard scholars George Serafeim and Aaron S. Yoon and University of Minnesota’s Mozaffar Khan.