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Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)


The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 with the mission to develop and disseminate sustainability accounting standards that help public corporations disclose material, decision-useful information to investors. SASB standards are designed to be evidence-based, market-informed, and cost-effective.

Purpose and Objectives

SASB’s primary objective is to assist companies in disclosing financially material sustainability information to investors. These disclosures are intended to enable investors to assess the sustainability-related risks and opportunities of companies and make more informed investment decisions.

Development of SASB Standards


SASB standards focus on industry-specific sustainability issues which are most likely to impact the financial condition or operating performance of companies within an industry. SASB identifies these issues through extensive research and consultation with industry professionals, investors, and academics.

Key Features

  • Industry-specific: SASB has developed a set of standards for 77 industries, categorized into 11 sectors.
  • Materiality-focused: The standards focus on material factors that are likely to affect the financial performance of companies.
  • Investor-focused: SASB standards aim to provide investors with a concise and comparable set of information relevant to investment decision-making.

Adoption and Use

SASB standards have gained significant traction among investors and companies. Many leading global companies use SASB standards to guide their sustainability disclosure and communicate with investors about how they manage their most significant sustainability issues.

Integration with Other Reporting Frameworks

SASB standards are designed to be complementary to other sustainability reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and can be used in conjunction with these frameworks to provide a more comprehensive view of a company’s sustainability performance.


SASB is governed by an independent Board of Directors, which oversees the strategic direction of the organization. The Board includes experts in standards development, securities law, environmental law, corporate governance, and investment.

Challenges and Criticism

SASB has faced challenges in gaining widespread acceptance, particularly among companies hesitant to adopt new reporting standards. Some criticism revolves around the complexity of implementing these industry-specific standards and concerns about the potential for overlap with existing reporting requirements.

Impact and Future Directions

SASB’s impact is increasingly seen in the growing number of companies that integrate SASB standards into their reporting practices. Looking forward, SASB aims to continue its work in improving the comparability and reliability of sustainability disclosures and promoting the integration of ESG factors into corporate governance and risk assessment.


The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board plays a critical role in standardizing sustainability reporting, specifically focusing on the material information that impacts a company’s financial performance. As investor demand for material sustainability information continues to grow, SASB’s standards are likely to become increasingly relevant and influential in corporate sustainability reporting.