SASB Standards Board Initiates Standard-Setting Project on Renewable Energy

According to SASB, today the SASB Standards Board announced the outcomes of its July 8, 2021 public meeting, including initiating a standard-setting project on renewable energy in the Electric Utilities & Power Generators Standard. Based on market feedback and research suggesting limitations with the current set of metrics, the project will consider new or revised metrics to address the energy transition in the Electric Utilities & Power Generators industry as a decarbonization pathway and to enhance international applicability.

“In this momentous time for sustainability disclosure, we continue our work to evolve our Standards to help meet the information needs of businesses and investors around the world. As part of the Value Reporting Foundation, the SASB Standards Board will continue using a rigorous due process and project-based model to consider revisions to the Standards. We invite public input and feedback on the many active standard setting and research projects we are advancing,” says SASB Standards Board Chair Dr. Jeffrey Hales.

The Board discussed two ongoing projects. On the Content Governance in the Internet Media & Services Industry project, staff presented a review of the recent consultation period and proposed a potential structure for a revised standard. The Board largely supported staff moving forward with its proposed approach to metrics development for content moderation and noted the need to further deepen market input through further consultations and an exposure draft.

Staff sought Board input to guide next steps on the Plastics Risks and Opportunities in Pulp & Paper Products and Chemicals Industries project. In the Chemicals industry, the Board supported the staff recommendation to incorporate the management of single-use plastics and bio-alternatives into the Chemicals Industry Standard as a distinct topic, rather than modifying the existing Product Design for Use Phase Efficiency topic. Staff will proceed towards development of an exposure draft. The Board also expressed general support for the staff developing a recommendation on merging the Pulp & Paper and Containers & Packaging Standards.

On the Human Capital research project, staff presented an update on proposals related to industry-agnostic human capital information. Staff recommended continuing to pursue three areas — workforce composition, workforce costs and workforce turnover. The Board discussed the forms of guidance this workstream could result in, including a standard, activity metrics or other suggestions provided by Board members. The Board next discussed the preliminary staff proposal related to standard setting on diversity and inclusion. Board members generally supported the staff view that industry-specific metrics would produce more decision- useful information on diversity and inclusion and discussed the need for a clear articulation of financial impacts based on industry characteristics.

The rigorous standard-setting process for SASB Standards includes evidence-based research, broad and balanced stakeholder participation from companies and investors, and independent oversight and direction from the SASB Standards Board. Standard-setting meetings of the SASB Standards Board are open to members of the public via livestream and are archived here. The next public meeting is October 1, 2021.