The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides sustainability accounting standards for publicly listed companies in the U.S., today issued provisional standards for six industries in the Renewable Resources & Alternative Energy sector, including:
- Forestry & Logging
- Fuel Cells & Industrial Batteries
- Paper & Pulp Products
- Solar Energy
- Wind Energy
The standards help companies disclose sustainability information that is likely to be material. Example disclosure topics include Operational Safety, Emergency Preparedness, and Response; Design to Mitigate Community & Ecological Impacts; and Bio-based Products Innovation. The standards average five topics per industry, and 69 percent of metrics are quantitative.
“Some industries in this sector—including solar, wind, fuel cells & industrial batteries, and biofuels—are nascent or high growth industries that are characterized by thin net profit margins and pricing competition, making operational efficiency and resulting cost savings critical,” said Dr. Jean Rogers, SASB founder and CEO. “SASB standards help companies in these industries identify, manage, and disclose the headline issues that are most likely to impact value.”
SASB’s standards development process is rooted in evidence and shaped by consensus. The working groups for Renewable Resources & Alternative Energy included 258 participants representing publicly traded companies with $694 billion market capitalization and investment firms with $8.7 trillion in assets under management.
“Accurate and standardized reporting metrics are critical not only for benchmarking specific companies within the clean energy sector, but also for understanding where the industry as a whole is heading,” said Nathan Serota, solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Transparency will be paramount as the industry continues to move from niche to mainstream.”
SASB standards remain provisional for at least one year after the issuance date for a public comment period, during which SASB conducts cost-benefit analysis and engages in consultation with issuers. To provide feedback at any time, please visit the SASB website.