SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ (SASB)™, a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides sustainability accounting standards for use by publicly listed corporations in the U.S, today announced the launch of the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential. The FSA Credential is designed for professionals involved in financial reporting, investing, law, sustainability and assurance. It provides training on how to identify, manage, and analyze the sustainability issues that affect the financial performance of a company.
"The markets need professionals who can identify what sustainability information is material to a company, and who can use that information to make better decisions," says Dr. Jean Rogers, SASB Founder and CEO. "But until now, there's been little available training. We developed the FSA Credential to meet this market need."
"As an active investor, the CalSTRS knows that ESG issues affect the performance of our investment portfolio. Because of this, our fund managers need to know how to integrate ESG into investment decisions," says Christopher J. Ailman, Chief Investment Officer at The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS). "As such, we're highly encouraging our team to enroll in the FSA Credential. If you want a long career in institutional investments you better start learning about the SASB disclosures. Get ahead of the crowd."
Divided into a two-part test, the FSA Credential consists of the Level I exam, which focuses on principles and practices of sustainability accounting, and the Level II exam, which emphasizes application and analysis of sustainability accounting. Nearly 130 professionals in a wide range of fields took the beta version of the Level I exam, which helped to set the pass/fail score. The Level I exam is now publicly available, and the Level II exam will be launched in 2016.
"We want the listed companies on our exchange to be in business 20 years from now—and in order to do so, they need to address sustainability risks and opportunities," says Evan Harvey, Managing Director, Corporate Sustainability at NASDAQ OMX. "As an exchange, we're actively educating our listed companies about the value of sustainability information. The FSA is an excellent resource to help corporate professionals understand what sustainability issues are important to their business, and learn best practices for identifying and managing these issues."
The FSA Credential was developed with the expertise of more than 20 subject matter experts with experience in investment analysis, financial reporting, sustainability, accounting, assurance, and securities law. The Credential is based on SASB's provisional standards, which are the outcome of a rigorous standards-setting process that involved more than 2,800 individuals affiliated with $23.4T assets under management and $11T market capital. More than 82% of issuers and investors agreed on the likely materiality of SASB's proposed disclosure topics. SASB's approach was further validated by research conducted at Harvard Business School, which shows that issuers that performed well on SASB disclosure topics outperformed their peers by 6% annualized alpha.
For questions about the FSA Credential, please visit http://fsa.sasb.org/.
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 affiliated with $23.4T assets under management and $11T market capital 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)