The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is seeking feedback on its proposed methodology for enhancing the international applicability of the SASB Standards.
The consultation is open for comments, preferably by online survey, until Wednesday 9 August 2023.
Feedback on the proposed methodology will enable the ISSB to make targeted amendments to the SASB Standards to make sure references within them are internationally applicable.
A small subset of the metrics included in the SASB Standards—around 20%—incorporate references to specific jurisdictional laws and regulations. Revising these references will help improve international applicability and remove regional bias.
The SASB Standards serve as an important source of guidance in the ISSB’s general requirements standard (IFRS S1) by helping companies to identify sustainability-related risks and opportunities and provide appropriate disclosures beyond climate (which is addressed by IFRS S2).
The ISSB’s objective is to revise the metrics within the SASB Standards, based on the outcomes of the consultation, prior to IFRS S1 coming into effect in January 2024.
Jeffrey Hales, Chair of the ISSB’s SASB Standards Board Advisor Group[i], said:
The increase in companies around the world voluntarily applying the SASB Standards in response to investor demand sends a strong signal about the information investors need. The ISSB is committed to maintaining and enhancing the SASB Standards so that they continue to be effective in supporting companies to deliver industry-based sustainability disclosures to investors. Through this project, we hope to make it easier for companies to apply the SASB Standards regardless of where they operate and to help companies applying IFRS S1 produce comparable and decision-useful disclosures.
The SASB Standards are already being applied by over 2,700 companies in more than 70 jurisdictions around the world, including 72% of the S&P Global 1200 Index. The ISSB assumed governance of the SASB Standards following the consolidation of the Value Reporting Foundation into the IFRS Foundation last year. This means that, in addition to setting the ISSB Standards, the ISSB is responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the SASB Standards.
[i]A SASB Standards Board Advisor Group comprising five ISSB members has been established as a mechanism to facilitate an efficient standard setting process. The SASB Standards Board Advisors execute the ISSB’s strategy in relation to the SASB Standards, working closely with the staff and make related recommendations to the ISSB for approval. Exposure drafts and revisions to the SASB Standards recommended by the SASB Standards Board Advisor Group are subject to ratification by the ISSB.