September 27, 2021

SASB Standards XBRL Taxonomy now available for public use

Madhu Mathew

Today we are pleased to announce that a revised version of SASB XBRL taxonomy is now available for public use. This version incorporates technical adjustments and corrections that were incorporated based on comments we have received on the draft version of our taxonomy. In addition, we are also pleased to announce the formation of the Taxonomy Review Committee (TRC) that will help us manage and govern the taxonomy on an ongoing basis. Our hope is that the TRC will have broad market participation across the data production to data consumption spectrum to help us ensure that the taxonomy meets the needs of the market.

We are thankful and appreciative of the feedback and comments we have received on our draft taxonomy. We are also very thankful for the engagement with PwC and their initial support in the release of the updated version of the XBRL taxonomy.

What are the changes?
The changes are primarily technical adjustments and corrections based on feedback received.

  • Implemented secure URLs when referencing taxonomies as well as hosting SASB Standards XBRL taxonomy
  • Implemented the use of XBRL International’s Data Type Registry (DTR)
  • Embedded attributes to the primary concepts where requirements are specific to simplify the taxonomy structure
  • Documented all entry points in the meta information file taxonomy package file
  • Fixed minor spelling errors
  • Implemented dimension defaults
  • Implemented date-based versioning for URLs to facilitate version updates in the future.

What does the future roadmap look like?
The broader architecture questions that we requested feedback on have informed our thinking about the future roadmap.

  • Global use and adoption of SASB Standards XBRL taxonomy – The taxonomy is expected to support the efforts of our Standards Internationalization Advancement project. As SASB Standards evolve to accommodate greater global applicability, the taxonomy will also evolve to accommodate the changes. We also understand the need for local jurisdictional considerations, which is why we have provided the flexibility to extend the taxonomy. We will continue to engage and collaborate with regulatory bodies globally. Public comments have been very supportive about anchoring to ensure data consumers understand the reasoning behind the extension.
  • Use of financial reporting elements from GAAP/IFRS taxonomies – This idea has received broad support during the public comment period. We realise that this requires deeper discussions with reporting jurisdictions to develop implementation guidelines and we are committed to exploring the options. The current version of the taxonomy (by not using elements from GAAP/IFRS taxonomies) allows stand-alone non-regulatory filings to be tagged with SASB Standards XBRL taxonomy.
  • Typed Dimensions – This also has received broad support during the public comment period. We have determined that we will adopt Typed Dimensions for instances where there is likely to be a large number of filer specific data elements. The use of typed dimensions in the newly release FERC taxonomy is a good example of when best to use Typed Dimensions. After careful review, we determined that the current use of Enumerated List is appropriate and as SASB Standards evolve, we will continue to review and explore the use of Typed Dimensions where it fits best.
  • TCFD Disclosures – The feedback during the public comment indicated that current approach to Blocktext tagging of TCFD narratives as a good starting point but recommended the need for more granular tagging. The TCFD sought public comment on two documents: Proposed Guidance on Climate-related Metrics, Targets, and Transition Plans and the associated Measuring Portfolio Alignment: Technical Supplement. The public consultation closed on July 18, 2021. We have decided to wait for the formal change to the documents to be published before we review and implement any changes to our taxonomy.
  • Tagged Examples – We realise the need to provide real world examples of tagged instance documents. We are working with filing software providers and filers to publish examples.
  • Central Repository – For efficient aggregation of data, it is vital that there is a central repository of tagged SASB Standards reports. Many regulatory initiatives globally provide such repositories as part of the reporting mandate. Our first preference is to leverage such repositories where possible. There are potentially other opportunities like the initiative by XBRL International – We will continue to explore options and determine best possible solutions.
  • Ongoing Management & Governance – As previously mentioned, we hope to work closely with members of the TRC to manage and govern the taxonomy in a transparent way and ensure it meets the needs of the market.

How can you stay involved?
The taxonomy, the updated preparer guide and supplemental materials are now available on SASB Standards website for download. We encourage you to share your comments, questions, and concerns using the feedback form on the page. We also encourage you to consider joining the Taxonomy Review Committee (TRC) to help us shape the future development of the taxonomy.

To learn more about SASB’s XBRL effort and stay informed about updates, please contact us using this link.

Madhu Mathew is Director of Technology at Value Reporting Foundation, and is leading the XBRL effort.