SAN FRANCISCO, March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since 2013, The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ (SASB)™, a 501c3 non-profit organization, has been issuing sustainability accounting standards for publicly listed companies in all industries of the economy. Today, SASB issued provisional standards for eight industries in the Infrastructure sector, thus completing the provisional phase of standards development. Industries within the sector include:
- Electric Utilities
- Engineering & Construction Services
- Gas Utilities
- Home Builders
- Real Estate Owners, Developers & Investment Trusts
- Real Estate Services
- Waste Management
- Water Utilities
Infrastructure companies can voluntarily use SASB standards to disclose material, decision-useful information to investors within mandatory filings including the Form 10-K and 20-F. The standards average five topics per industry and 14 metrics per industry, 73% of which are quantitative. To maximize cost effectiveness, SASB standards seek to align with pre-existing sustainability initiatives. The SASB Real Estate Standard, for example, leverages the industry-specific and widely used GRESB Real Estate Assessment. Over 75% of the quantitative metrics contained in the SASB standard are aligned with GRESB or require no additional data collection.
"Many companies within the Infrastructure sector are leaders in driving sustainability performance. Efficient use of resources and management of climate risk can affect the financial condition and operating performance of companies in these industries," says Dr. Jean Rogers, SASB Founder and CEO. "In addition, engineering and real estate industries play roles in both constructing sustainable structures and ensuring resource use is optimized by occupants and users of the built environment. Companies can use SASB standards to identify, manage, and disclose these risks and opportunities to investors in a decision-useful format."
SASB's provisional standards development process is rooted in evidence and shaped by consensus. The working groups for Infrastructure included 437 participants affiliated with publicly traded companies with $524 billion market capitalization and investment firms with $2.3 trillion in assets under management.
"The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board's (SASB) efforts to help improve sustainability-related reporting of material information to investors are of significant importance to the public real estate community, especially during a year in which Real Estate will become the 11th headline sector in the global industry classification system (GICS) used by many investors around the world," says Steve Wechsler, President and CEO of NAREIT and board member of GRESB. "We are very pleased to constructively interact with SASB as it seeks to improve sustainability reporting and to carefully review the provisional standards applicable to Infrastructure, including real estate."
In its next phase, SASB will enter a period of deep consultation to get feedback on the standards' decision-usefulness and cost-effectiveness. SASB's proposed process for codifying and maintaining the standards will open for public comment on April 7.
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ (SASB)™ is an independent 501(c)3 organization that issues industry-specific standards for use in disclosing material sustainability information in filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, and Mary Schapiro, former SEC chairman, serve as chair and vice chair of SASB's Board of Directors, and Dr. Jean Rogers serves as Founder and CEO. More than 2,800 individuals representing $23.4T assets under management and $11T market capitalization have participated in multi-stakeholder industry working groups informing standards development. For more information about SASB, visit www.sasb.org, or follow us on YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn.
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SOURCE Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)