SASB Standards Meant to See Beyond Financials

May 23, 2014 1:00 PM ET

Tammy Whitehouse

Ivestors are starting to demand more information from companies beyond financial details to better understand their ability to sustain success over the long term, emboldening the upstart Sustainability Accounting Standards Board to develop rules that would achieve just that.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System recently published its second report explaining the system's commitment to sustainable investment and operations, and in it called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to get serious about requiring sustainability-like disclosures in public company filings. “CalPERS supports the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and we encourage the SEC to continue its dialogue with SASB as they develop industry-specific sustainability accounting standards for publicly listed companies,” the report says. Douglas Park, director of education for SASB, says it's an example of growing investor demand for a better view into the companies they are capitalizing. “We see traction and interest on the investors side,” he said at Compliance Week 2014. “Investors want this.”

SASB is an independent, non-profit board established in 2011 to develop and disseminate sustainability accounting standards that would guide public companies in disclosing material factors that the SEC requires companies to address in their filings. SASB says its goal is to make more useful information available to investors while also driving corporate performance on the environmental, social, and governance issues that are most likely to impact value.

Read the full article on the Compliance Week website here.