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.

On April 2, 2020, Rights CoLab held a webinar to introduce the SASB standard, explain why it is growing in importance as a tool for corporate responsibility, and the advocacy opportunities it presents for corporate accountability and labor rights advocates. We also introduced our new project to support SASB’s Human Capital Management Project, and provided information about how to get involved. The webinar was moderated by Rights CoLab Co-Founder, Joanne Bauer, and featured: Paul Rissman, Co-Founder, Rights CoLab; Delilah Rothenberg, Executive Director, Pre-Distribution Initiative; Hugues LeTourneau, Manager, Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital; David Parham, Director of Research, SASB; and Kelli Okuji-Wilson, Project Lead, Human Capital Management Project, SASB

Rights CoLab project:

Harnessing Big Data for Investor-Led ESG Standards to Improve Corporate Human Rights Practice. This project will engage with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), an existing sustainability reporting framework, to develop and define a strengthened set of modern slavery disclosure standards that investors can use to push companies to tackle modern slavery in their supply chains. A data science project will identify stronger relationships between modern slavery and financial materiality, while a civil society advisory group will work with SASB to incorporate these findings into revised standards that are most beneficial to rights holders. For more information click here:


We welcome your feedback and interest in this project, and ask that after viewing the webinar, you take this brief 5-10 minute survey.


To sign up for project updates, please email us with your name, organization, title, and an optional comment on specific interest in the project.


Background reading:


This project is made possible by the generous support of the Moving the Market initiative, a collaboration between Humanity United, UBS Optimus Foundation and Freedom Fund.

Photo by Nacho Capelo on Unsplash