What is the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)?

sustainability accounting

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board is an independent non-profit on a mission to disseminate and develop sustainability accounting standards that help public organisations disclose decision-useful and material information to investors. 

Their work includes the creation of sector-specific KPIs for sustainability, integral to formulating a robust sustainability strategy for businesses. These KPIs operate in conjunction with many other frameworks to improve the disclosure of ESG issues, ensuring that companies can effectively communicate their sustainability efforts. Continue reading to learn more about the SASB and its Standards.

About the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) 

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) allows organisations to offer industry-based sustainability disclosures regarding opportunities and risks that impact enterprise value. When the Value Reporting Foundation and the IFRS Foundation combined in August 2022, the foundation that had previously been in charge of these standards became the IFRS Foundation. 

The environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues that are most essential to a company’s value and financial performance are identified for 77 industries by SASB Standards. They were created using a transparent and rigorous standard-setting process. The procedure incorporated input from a variety of stakeholders, including businesses, investors, and subject-matter experts; it also included evidence-based research; and it received oversight and approval by the independent SASB Standards Board.

Worldwide investors recognise the SASB Standards are requirements for businesses looking to make comparable and consistent sustainability disclosures. The IFRS Foundation’s International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)has been dedicated to building on the industry-based SASB Standards and adopting SADB’s industry-based approach to developing standards.

Why companies should use these standards

The increased concern for environmental issues has meant that many standards and disclosures have emerged. So, why should companies use the standards set by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)? Organisations, both big and small, face opportunities and challenges affecting their long-term sustainability. From resource constraints and climate change to technological innovation and urbanisation. 

Institutional investors must identify how these problems affect businesses to inform their investment choices. These Standards support businesses all over the world in assessing, measuring, and managing the subset of ESG issues that have the greatest immediate impact on long-term company value development. There are lots of reasons companies should use the Standards set by the SASB. Firstly, they are cost-effective because each standard has six disclosure topics and 13 accounting metrics. 

Next, they are industry-based. The issues that are most likely to affect financial performance vary by sector. Industry-based disclosures minimise noise and reduce costs by highlighting the most relevant data. These Standards also meet investor needs effectively. In other words, investors across asset classes are looking for consistent, reliable, and comparable data on financial material sustainability factors. 

These very investors recognise SASB Standards as a primary tool to achieve this disclosure. The Standards can also be used with other standards and frameworks. They are a practical tool for implementing principles-based frameworks like those offered by the IIRC and the TCFD. A lot of other companies use both GRI and SASB Standards to meet the needs of a range of audiences. 


There are many benefits for both businesses and investors to using the SASB Standards. It is a cost-effective way to disclose and can be used in tandem with a lot of other frameworks. For those interested in getting started, a good place to begin is by reviewing the Standards for your industry, the SASB Standards Implementation Primer, and the SASB Standards Application Guidance.

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