Last year, Liz wrote about calls for standardized sustainability disclosure and the “alphabet soup” of reporting frameworks, which haven’t diminished with time. But now, in an effort to help companies and investors, the SASB and GRI announced a “collaborative work plan.” Each organization issued an announcement, and the collaboration sounds promising. An Accounting Today article helps explain what this means:
The collaboration aims to demonstrate how some companies have used both sets of standards together and the lessons that can be shared. SASB and the GRI also hope to help the consumers of sustainability data, such as investors and financial analysts, understand the similarities and differences in the information created from these standards.
The collaboration will initially focus on delivering communication materials to help stakeholders better understand how the standards can be used together. GRI and SASB also plan to develop examples based on real-world reports to demonstrate how the standards can be employed concurrently. These resources are expected to be delivered before the end of this year.
GRI and SASB both provide compatible standards for sustainability reporting, but the groups pointed out that they’re designed to fulfill different purposes and are based on different approaches to materiality. The two groups noted that independence is important to both the GRI and SASB standard-setting processes, and they plan to maintain their independence. This collaborative work plan may identify opportunities to consider how the SASB and GRI standards may be developed in the future. Decisions about standard setting, content of standards, and their interpretation are the sole responsibility of the independent standards-setting functions, which rest with the Global Sustainability Standards Board on behalf of GRI, and of the SASB Standards Board.
-Lynn Jokela, TheCorporateCounsel.net July 15, 2020
Want to keep reading?
Great. Enter your email address and gain instant access to this article