The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) stands out among other sustainability reporting frameworks for its ability to define standards of financial materiality that will require firms to disclose business risks, which will in turn affect the decisions of investors and, through publicity, the decisions of consumers, business partners, and other corporate stakeholders as well. Since the publication of the standards in November 2018, there is growing evidence of public company willingness to disclose according to SASB, in large part because large investment advisors are demanding that they do so. These developments point to SASB as a new means for civil society to hold corporations accountable for human rights.

In the first three posts of this four-part series, Rights CoLab Co-Founder Paul Rissman lays out why SASB is significant to pushing corporations to respect for human rights, provides novel insights into BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s 2020 letter to issuers calling for SASB disclosure, and provides the backstory for the unusual results of a shareholder resolution on SASB disclosure at the poultry processor Sanderson Farms. In the fourth blogpost of the series, Rights CoLab Co-Founder Joanne Bauer joins Rissman in outlining what civil society can do to support the strengthening of SASB as a tool of corporate accountability.

Part 1: Improving Corporate Transparency with New Materiality Standards

Part 2: Is BlackRock’s New Messaging on Climate Change a Big Deal? Yes.

Part 3: BlackRock and the Curious Case of the Poultry Farmer

Part 4: A Civil Society Call to Action: Strengthening SASB Together to Advance Human Rights


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash