SASB feeds institutional hunger for sustainability data

The founder of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a nonprofit established in 2011 to develop sustainability accounting standards, told institutional investors that she remains laser-focused on creating better metrics for financially material sustainability concerns, despite investors’ hunger for data on ESG topics outside of that strict mission.

Jean Rogers, SASB’s chair and founder, spoke at the Council of Institutional Investors’ (CII) spring conference on Tuesday, Μarch 13, saying that companies’ current reporting on sustainability risks currently leaves a lot to be desired, as few use data and most rely on “boilerplate” risk disclosures. SASB plans to finalize and publish industry-specific
sustainability reporting standards for 79 industries later this year, and hopes that those standards will help investors better understand the financial risks related to a particular company or industry.

“Good investors try to look at material risks, but are hampered in the sustainability space by a lack of high-quality comparable data on financially material issues,” Rogers said. “We look for evidence that these sustainability issues are likely to affect financial or operating performance of a company or industry, so that investors have adequate information on those risks and can use that information accordingly.”

While companies are already addressing sustainability risks in their disclosures to investors, they are not specific enough to be useful for investors, Rogers said. Without better data, investors can’t put price on sustainability risks or differentiate between which companies are performing well and which companies are performing poorly, she added.

Read the full story: SASB feeds institutional hunger for sustainability data

Published by Money Management Report/Pageant Media.

 

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