A New Standard: the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

One of the Capital Institute’s eight over-arching goals is a transition to new metrics of social and environmental wellbeing. Much great work has already been done on the private sector component of this issue by groups like the Global Reporting Initiative, the Initiative for Responsible Investment, the International Integrated Reporting Committee, the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, Global Initiative for Sustainable Ratings, and many others. These efforts all contribute to the public recognition that our current economic indicators are an insufficient compass for navigating the problems of critical resource scarcity and growing social disparities. But none of these projects has been able to build a coalition and model large enough to solve the problem in total. Into this vacuum, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) will be born. SASB’s stated mission, upon launch in the coming months, is the creation and dissemination of sustainability accounting standards for use by publicly-listed US corporations in disclosing material sustainability issues for the benefit of investors and the public. By partnering with the leading thinkers and institutions in social and environmental accounting and integrated reporting, and building relationships with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), SASB is building the coalition to make a single sustainability accounting process the default for all companies and investors in the United States. SASB’s will make integrated sustainability accounting more meaningful and more widely accepted in the mainstream. In alignment with our vision, we have joined SASB’s Advisory Board. Keep an eye on SASB’s website (SASB.org) for updates on their progress.