July 23, 2023
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In recent years, the importance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in business has become increasingly apparent. Investors and other stakeholders are looking beyond financial performance and considering a company’s impact on society and the environment. To help companies report on their ESG performance in a standardized and comparable way, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has developed a framework of industry-specific sustainability accounting standards.

What is SASB?

SASB is a non-profit organization that aims to improve sustainability disclosures and help companies communicate their sustainability performance to investors in a standardized way. The organization has developed a set of industry-specific standards that help companies identify and report on the sustainability issues that are most relevant to their industry.


Who Does SASB framework Concern?

SASB concerns investors, regulators, and other stakeholders who are interested in a company’s sustainability performance. By reporting on their ESG performance using SASB standards, companies can provide investors and other stakeholders with more comprehensive and comparable information about their sustainability performance.

SASB standards are designed to be relevant to all publicly traded companies, regardless of their size or location. The standards cover a range of industries, including healthcare, technology, and consumer goods. Companies in these industries are required to report on their sustainability performance using the SASB standards, either as part of their annual reports or as standalone sustainability reports.


The SASB framework provides a set of sustainability accounting standards that are designed to be industry-specific and financially material. These standards define a set of metrics that companies can use to report on their sustainability performance in a standardised way. The metrics are grouped into five categories, and will differ according to the sectors in which a company is active in:



These metrics measure a company's impact on the environment, such as:

1. GHG emissions intensity (metric tons CO2e per unit of production)

2. Water withdrawal intensity (cubic meters per unit of production)

3. Waste generated (metric tons per unit of production)

4. Hazardous waste generated (metric tons per unit of production)

5. Renewable energy use (percentage of total energy consumed)

Social Capital


These metrics measure a company's impact on the communities in which it operates, including :

1. Employee engagement (percentage of employees who report high levels of job satisfaction)

2. Occupational health and safety incidents (total number of work-related injuries and illnesses)

3. Customer satisfaction (percentage of customers who report high levels of satisfaction with the company's products or services)

4. Data privacy and security (number of data breaches or incidents involving the unauthorized access or use of personal information)

5. Community relations (amount of charitable donations and volunteer hours contributed by the company)

Human Capital


These metrics measure a company's impact on its employees, including:

1. Employee turnover (percentage of employees who leave the company each year)

2. Diversity and inclusion (percentage of employees who identify as women, minorities, or members of other underrepresented groups)

3. Employee training and development (total number of hours of training and professional development provided to employees)

4. Health and wellness (percentage of employees who participate in wellness programs or have access to on-site healthcare)

5. Labor practices (number of labor violations or disputes)

Business Model and Innovation


These metrics measure a company's ability to innovate and create value over the long term, including:

1. Research and development (total amount of spending on research and development activities)

2. Intellectual property protection (number of patents, trademarks, or other intellectual property assets held by the company)

3. Product safety and quality (number of recalls or product safety incidents)

4. Innovation pipeline (percentage of revenue generated by products or services launched in the past 3 years)

5. Supply chain management (percentage of suppliers who have signed the company's supplier code of conduct)

Leadership and Governance


These metrics measure a company's governance structure, executive compensation, ethics, and transparency.

1. Board diversity (percentage of board members who identify as women or minorities)

2. Executive compensation (total compensation paid to top executives as a multiple of median employee compensation)

3. Political spending and lobbying (total amount spent on political contributions or lobbying activities)

4. Ethics and compliance (number of ethics violations or compliance issues)

5. Risk management (number of risk assessments conducted and actions taken to address identified risks)

Benefits of SASB Framework

The SASB framework provides several benefits to companies and their stakeholders.

1. First, the standards provide a clear and consistent framework for reporting on sustainability issues based on the industry/company’s material aspects, which can help companies identify and manage their sustainability risks and opportunities.

2. Second, using SASB standards can help companies improve their sustainability performance and create long-term value for their investors.

3. Finally, reporting on sustainability performance using SASB standards can enhance a company’s reputation and stakeholder engagement.

Establishing the International Sustainability Standards Board: Building on Existing Sustainability Disclosure Standards

In response to an urgent need for greater transparency in financial-related sustainability disclosures, the IFRS Foundation Trustees took decisive action and established the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) on 3 November 2021, at COP26. Recognising the importance of building upon existing sustainability disclosure standards, the Trustees also sought collaboration with organisations that had already developed such standards.

To achieve this, the IFRS Foundation entered into a consolidation with the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF), with a shared goal of enhancing and evolving the SASB Standards. The SASB Standards were a collection of industry-specific sustainability disclosure standards previously maintained by the VRF, designed to facilitate effective communication between businesses and investors regarding the financial implications of sustainability practices.

Following the merger with the IFRS Foundation in August 2022, all active SASB Standards projects were seamlessly transferred from the SASB Standards Board to the IFRS Foundation. Subsequently, the ISSB plans to incorporate feedback from its forthcoming consultation on future priorities to develop a comprehensive delivery plan for these projects. This thoughtful approach ensures that the ISSB can effectively utilise insights from stakeholders to further refine and execute the initiatives related to sustainability disclosure standards.

(IFRS Foundation. (2023). IFRS Sustainability.)


SASB provides a valuable framework for companies to report on their sustainability performance in a standardised and comparable way. By using SASB standards, companies can identify and manage their sustainability risks and opportunities, improve their sustainability performance, and enhance their reputation and stakeholder engagement. As sustainability becomes increasingly important to investors and other stakeholders, SASB standards will likely become even more widely adopted and influential in shaping corporate sustainability practices.

Learn more on how Wequity supports investors with reporting on ESG, using SFDR and SASB frameworks via this link.