SAN FRANCISCO--()--Newly launched Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has announced the formation of its inaugural board of directors, whose members bring to the organization decades of experience and expertise in areas ranging from academia, law, and philanthropy, to investment, integrated reporting and the capital markets.
“SASB will enable investors to obtain essential information about material sustainability issues free of charge, thereby minimizing the costs of research associated with integrating sustainability considerations into governance and portfolio construction activities”
SASB, launched on Oct. 4, is an independent, non-profit, private sector organization that aims to fill a current void in accounting for material sustainability issues by developing and publicly distributing comprehensive, industry-specific sustainability accounting standards, which can be incorporated into standardized financial reporting mechanisms. Its 13-member board of directors will play an integral role in achieving the organization's goals by engaging in five key activities: strategic planning, fiduciary duties, engaging with key stakeholders, raising public awareness, and fundraising. In addition, the members will serve on various board committees depending on their expertise.
Among the board members is Steven O. Gunders, CPA, MBA, retired Partner of the Management Consulting practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he managed several geographic consulting practices, as well as the Strategy and Operations practice for Deloitte for the US and Europe.
“The U.S. capital markets enjoy extraordinary depth and liquidity due in part to the rigor of financial accounting standards, and the ability to audit the information,” said Steve Gunders. “SASB will create the accounting system necessary for the capital markets to recognize and react to the full range of sustainability risks and opportunities facing companies now and in the future, further strengthening our capital markets.”
Adding capital market expertise are Dan Hanson, CFA, Managing Director and member of the Fundamental Equity Division of BlackRock's Portfolio Management Group, and Erika Karp, Managing Director and Head of Global Sector Research for UBS Investment Bank.
SASB is also benefitting from different perspectives on investing through board members Catherine Odelbo, Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Partnership for Morningstar and Anne Sheehan, Head of Corporate Governance for CalSTRS.
“SASB will enable investors to obtain essential information about material sustainability issues free of charge, thereby minimizing the costs of research associated with integrating sustainability considerations into governance and portfolio construction activities,” stated Anne Sheehan. “We’ll be able to evaluate sustainability fundamentals right alongside financial fundamentals and conduct peer-to-peer comparison with regard to sustainability performance.”
The new board will include several legal experts, whose insights will help guide SASB as it develops standards for disclosure of non-financial data that work within the existing legal framework governing securities law and disclosure, providing companies with a concise and comparable way to communicate material sustainability issues to investors. Those members include: Suz Mac Cormac, Partner, Corporate Group of Morrison & Foerster LLP; Ed Waitzer, Partner, Stikeman Elliott LLP and former Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission and former Vice-President of the Toronto Stock Exchange; and John Katovich, Founder and Partner, K2 Katovich and Kassan Law Group, and former General Counsel and Secretary of the Pacific Stock Exchange and former Chief Legal Officer of the Boston Stock Exchange. Joining in January, 2013, will be Aulana Peters, retired Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP of Los Angeles, and former Commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
With an extensive and successful background in local, national and international fundraising, Bob Carter, CEO of Bob Carter Companies, LLC will bolster SASB’s fundraising activities and relationships with foundations and the philanthropic community.
Robert G. Eccles, PhD, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of SASB, and will be responsible for overseeing the board and executive committee, working with the executive director to ensure board resolutions are implemented, and serving as a spokesperson for the organization, among other duties.
"SASB is extremely fortunate to have such a diverse, esteemed, and accomplished team as its first board of directors," said Dr. Jean Rogers, SASB Founder and Executive Director, who serves on the board in an ex officio capacity. "Each member will bring a unique and vital perspective to the organization as we work toward establishing standards that will enable material sustainability information to be in the hands of all investors in a decision-useful format, thereby enabling the capital markets to support sustainable value creation."
Dr. Rogers will be joined on the board by Steve Lydenberg, CFA, Fellow of the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University, with whom she co-authored a report in 2010, From Transparency to Performance: Industry-Based Sustainability Reporting on Key Issues. Lydenberg recently elaborated on that publication with a white paper focused on issues surrounding materiality, On Materiality and Sustainability: The Value of Disclosure in Capital Markets.
The network of the SASB Board of Directors is augmented by a 90 member strong external Advisory Council, a 15 person Standards Council, and hundreds of participants in SASB’s Industry Working Groups registered to date.
For more background on SASB's board of directors, go to http://www.sasb.org/sasb/board-directors/
For videos of our board members speaking about their commitment to SASB and how SASB supports and strengthens the capital markets please go to http://www.sasb.org/sasb/launch/
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is an independent 501(c)3 organization that will establish and maintain industry tailored key performance indicators for use in disclosing material sustainability issues for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the public. For more information on SASB, visit www.sasb.org, or follow the organization on YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn.