July 28, 2022

Answering your top five questions about the ISSB and SASB Standards

Laura Nelson

For years, businesses and investors have called for a simplified sustainability disclosure landscape. In response to this market demand, in November 2021 the IFRS Foundation Trustees announced the formation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to develop—in the public interest—a global baseline of high-quality sustainability disclosure standards to meet investors’ information needs.

In establishing the ISSB, the Trustees emphasized the importance of building on existing sustainability disclosure standards. To help accomplish this, the IFRS Foundation consolidated leading investor-focused sustainability disclosure organisations, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and the Value Reporting Foundation (which housed the SASB Standards and the Integrated Reporting Framework). These consolidations are complete as of August 1, 2022.

The ISSB has committed to building upon SASB Standards, and encourages businesses and investors to keep using them. Here are answers to the top five questions we’re receiving about the future of the SASB Standards under the ISSB.

Top Five FAQs

What happened to the SASB Standards post-consolidation?

The SASB Standards became a resource of the IFRS Foundation as of August 1, 2022, upon the consolidation of the Value Reporting Foundation (which housed the SASB Standards and the Integrated Reporting Framework) into the IFRS Foundation.

Can (should) I still use SASB Standards?

Yes. The ISSB has committed to building on the industry-based SASB Standards and embedding SASB’s industry-based approach to standards development.[1] The ISSB encourages companies and investors to continue to support and use the SASB Standards until they are replaced by IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. SASB Standards play an important role in the ISSB’s Climate-related Disclosures Exposure Draft and General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information Exposure Draft. Use of SASB Standards, therefore, will be good preparation for implementation of the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards when they are available for use.

The ISSB also has committed to enhancing the international applicability of the SASB Standards prior to the effective date of the General Requirements Exposure Draft.

SASB Standards can be used to provide a baseline of investor-focused sustainability disclosure and to implement the principles-based framework recommended by the TCFD, which is also incorporated into the ISSB’s Climate Exposure Draft. Similarly, SASB Standards enable robust implementation of the Integrated Reporting Framework, providing the comparability sought by investors.

SASB Standards are available for download at sasb.org. All SASB Standards implementation tools and resources, now part of the IFRS Foundation, are still accessible via sasb.org.

How are SASB Standards related to the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards?

The industry-based SASB Standards are foundational input to the development of IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. The ISSB has committed to build on the industry-based SASB Standards and leverage its industry-based approach to standards development.

Companies are directed to SASB Standards as priority materials for complying with the [draft] General Requirements Standard in the absence of specific IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards. Using industry-based disclosure topics and metrics in the SASB Standards enables companies to address a range of sustainability-related risks and opportunities.

Additionally, the ISSB’s Climate Exposure Draft proposes requirements for disclosure of material information about significant climate-related risks and opportunities, including industry-based requirements derived from SASB Standards.

What happened to open SASB Standards projects after the Value Reporting Foundation’s consolidation with the IFRS Foundation?

All open SASB Standards projects were transitioned to the ISSB as of August 1, 2022, when the Value Reporting Foundation consolidated into the IFRS Foundation. The SASB Standards Board’s recommended changes were passed to the ISSB for further deliberation and will be subject to the IFRS Foundation’s due process.

Work is expected to continue on these projects, although upcoming public consultation on the ISSB’s future agenda priorities will inform their detailed delivery plan. Stay up to date on the ISSB’s work plan, decisions and projects by subscribing to receive sustainability alerts via the IFRS Foundation’s notifications dashboard.

How can I provide feedback on, contribute to, or ask questions about ISSB exposure drafts?

The ISSB is now reviewing and discussing feedback on the General Requirements and Climate Exposure Drafts received during the public consultation that closed on July 29, 2022. For notices of upcoming consultation periods, please subscribe to receive sustainability alerts via the IFRS Foundation’s notifications dashboard. Other questions and feedback for the ISSB can be submitted via the contact form on the ISSB’s webpage.

[1] The development of IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards is subject to due process.