The outcomes of the SASB Standards Board’s public meeting have been announced. The report includes initiating two standard-setting projects, one to address Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across multiple SASB Standards and the second to address Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Air Quality in the Marine Transportation Standard.
“In response to robust market feedback, we are pleased to advance standard-setting on Human Capital and Marine Transportation. Because the ISSB’s standards will build on existing frameworks and standards, we encourage the market to continue to engage in the SASB Standards development process now in preparation to engage with and implement the ISSB’s standards in the future. We have numerous projects open for consultation and feedback—we welcome your input,” comments SASB Standards Board Chair Dr. Jeffrey Hales.
To develop the Human Capital project, the Board approved the Staff’s proposal to begin a standard-setting project to assess the addition or revision of disclosure topics and/or metrics within a set of SASB Industry Standards to accurately account for the effect of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on enterprise value. Rationale for standard setting contains proof of investor interest in DEI and evidence connecting DEI to business performance. In addition, Staff will carry out further research and market consultation to refine the industry list, study channels/industries across markets, and develop a preliminary view on disclosure topic(s) scope and general issue category mapping for each identified.
The Board additionally approved the Staff’s idea to commence a standard-setting project to examine possible developments to accounting metrics in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Air Quality disclosure topics in the Marine Transportation Standard. The rationale for standard setting includes feedback Staff received from an industry working group of companies, investors and subject matter experts, and examinations of Marine Transportation industry company disclosures and their level of alignment with the current Standard. Furthermore, Staff will conduct further research and develop materials to ease consultations with market participants, focusing on the informational needs of investors.
The Board examined additional steps on enhancing guidance related to sourcing region and guidance connected to company identification of credible third-party environmental and/or social certifications/standards. The Staff provided an overview of the market input received during the public comment period for the Raw Materials Sourcing in Apparel project. Furthermore, Staff will conduct additional research and consultation to facilitate further revisions on the exposure draft.
Lastly, Staff recommended how to establish editorial corrections processes and technical updates to address minor or narrow scope issues and to correct minor inaccuracies (e.g., spelling, outdated links) in the Standards. The Board supported the recommendations and discussed how the Staff’s efforts and learning can inform the transition work with the ISSB to establish the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards.
The rigorous standard-setting process for SASB Standards consists evidence-based research, vast and balanced stakeholder participation from businesses and investors, and independent oversight and direction from the SASB Standards Board. Standard-setting meetings of the SASB Standards Board are open to members of the public via livestream and are archived here. The next public meeting is March 2, 2022.