SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) announced today that its founder and former CEO, Jean Rogers, will step down from her role as Chair of the SASB Standards Board. Jeffrey Hales, the board's current Vice-Chair and a professor of accounting at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will take the helm effective today.
Rogers founded the SASB in 2011 and served as its CEO until May 2017, when the organization was restructured to strengthen its governance and accountability. Rogers then assumed the role of Chair of the nine-member SASB, guiding the organization's technical standard-setting efforts as it began work to codify its provisional standards.
"Establishing a market standard for disclosure of material sustainability factors is what I've been working toward for seven years," Rogers said. "This new phase will bring new challenges. It feels like the right time for me to pass the torch, and I'm truly grateful that I'm able to pass it into such capable hands."
Rogers notified the Chair of the SASB Foundation Board of her intention to step down as Chair of the SASB at their last board meeting in February. To take over the leadership role, the SASB tapped Hales, who previously served for five years as the Chair of the SASB Standards Council—a precursor to the Standards Board—thus ensuring a smooth transition.
"We are appreciative of Jean's leadership and proud of all that has been accomplished," said Robert Steel, Chair of the SASB Foundation, which funds and oversees the SASB. "Without Jean's vision and guidance, we would not be here today. Now that the standards are nearly codified and ready for use, we must pivot toward implementation. This is where Jeff's technical expertise and practical understanding will be invaluable."
Moving forward, the SASB will focus on maintaining and continually improving the standards through independent research and practical feedback from corporations, investors, and other market participants. "Although codification is the culmination of seven years of hard work, it's the starting line for market uptake of the standards," said Hales. "Our ongoing dialogue with practitioners will shine a light on some of the finer points of implementation and help shape the future of the SASB standards. I'm honored to lead that conversation."
For Rogers, the move will mark the end of seven years of full-time focus on the SASB, during which time the organization:
- developed provisional sustainability accounting standards for 79 industries across 11 sectors;
- engaged with 2,800 professionals representing $11 trillion in market capitalization and $23 trillion in assets under management;
- formally consulted with 141 companies, 19 industry associations, and 38 institutional investors;
- founded an Investor Advisory Group (IAG) comprised of 32 leading asset owners and asset managers collectively managing $26.2 trillion in assets;
- was validated by independent research from Harvard Business School, which used historical data to determine that the SASB's approach yields outperformance for both companies and their investors—including sales, sales growth, return on assets, and return on equity, in addition to 4.8 percent improvement of risk-adjusted shareholder returns;
- launched the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential along with other key products and third-party partnerships with providers of financial products, software, and data;
- published an annual quantitative analysis of sustainability disclosure in SEC filings, establishing a useful tool for investors and a baseline for measuring future progress;
- formed a collaborative initiative with Fordham University to advance sustainability accounting through education, research, and public events; and
- hosted annual events, including the SASB Symposium and the SASB Legal Forum.
Rogers' dedication to developing SASB has been unwavering. She has been responsible for creating potential, meaningful change in the capital markets. "I am sure Jeff and the other members of the SASB will continue to fulfill our mission of facilitating the cost-effective disclosure of material, decision-useful sustainability information," she said. "Our individual roles may evolve, but our commitment to the capital markets has not changed." Rogers will continue on in a consulting capacity to the SASB through August 1, 2018.
Established in 2011, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is an independent standards-setting organization dedicated to enhancing the efficiency of the capital markets by fostering high-quality disclosure of financially material sustainability information that meets investor needs. The SASB Foundation is responsible for the financing, oversight, administration and appointment of the SASB, and works to provide the market with education and resources that advance the use of SASB standards and the field of sustainability accounting. For more information, visit www.sasb.org and follow us on Twitter @SASB.
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SOURCE Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)