SASB Positions — Critical Points Made In Commentary Published by Dr. Jean Rogers in the “IBD”

Posted on May 3, 2017 by Hank Boerner – Chair & Chief Strategist

#Business & Society #Corporate Citizenship #Corporate Responsibility #Corporate Sustainability #Sustainability Big Data #Sustainability Reporting 

The “IBD” — Investors Business Daily — is an influential publisher followed by millions of investors, both in the print and on-line versions.  The former “daily” is now published weekly and the digital content with numerous tools and resources for the serious investor is a primary focus of the publisher, always available 24/7 for subscribers.  Founded in 1984 by former stockbroker William O’Neil, the publisher today offers investors a number of popular tools for market timing, fundamental and technical market analysis, and other approaches.  (Such as “CAN SLIM,” the founder’s approach to investing.)
What is important for us today is the publication in the IBD of powerful commentary by Jean Rogers, PhD, Founder / CEO  of the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB).  (Our selection for your Top Story.)  Dr. Rogers responds to earlier published commentary in IBD that warned investors “against the dangers of infusing corporate accounting with environmental advocacy.”
In response, Jean Rogers writes — Could not agree more!  That is, she explains, SASB’s mission is to provide investors (many of whom are IDB readers) with material, decision-useful information capturing the financial impacts of corporate sustainability performance, and doing so in a way that is cost-effective for companies.  That may come as a surprise to the writers of the prior commentary, she says. (They seemed to position SASB’s work as adding to the “burden of regulation” facing public companies.)
It is large and influential investors who are the driving force behind the evolvement of the SASB standards — they are the parties who are increasingly demanding financially-relevant ESG data, explains Dr. Rogers.
Helpful note for dear IBD readers:  Jean Rogers points out for you that the PRI signatories represent about half of the Assets Under Management of global institutional assets (some US$60 trillion).  That’s the smart money to follow, we would say.  And the 2016 US SIF survey of asset managers adopting ESG approaches reached to almost $9 trillion in AUM — up 33% from two years prior.  More smart money to follow.
You’ll want to read Dr. Rogers’ commentary and share it with colleagues.  And do review the SASB standards for your company’s industry or sector if you work in the corporate sector.  As Dr. Rogers writes: “SASB work is to standardize sustainability disclosure. Its one agenda item is to help companies and their investors communicate more effectively about risk and opportunities they face in a constantly-evolving business landscape.” That certainly describes the year 2017, doesn’t it!
At G&A we’re big supporters of SASB, and we’re helping our clients review and consider SASB in their sustainability programs, materiality and reporting.  If you’d like to talk more about how we can assist your company in strategy setting for the SASB standards for your industry please contact us at to set up a complimentary call with our team.
Sustainability Accounting Standards Represent Market — Not Regulatory — Forces at Work
(Wednesday – April 26, 2017)
Source: Investor Business Daily – Today, approximately half of global institutional assets — about $60 trillion — are managed by signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which promotes the incorporation of sustainability factors into..