We are in a unique moment in which various factors are driving accelerated progress towards a unified global system for corporate reporting. Within this system, sustainability disclosure is advancing towards a commensurate level of maturity that the financial reporting eco-system has achieved via IFRS and US GAAP. When I started at SASB five years ago, I never would have thought such accelerated timing was possible.
One reason this progress is possible is collaboration. Earlier this year, CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC and SASB announced a shared vision for a comprehensive corporate reporting system and our commitment to collaborate to achieve it. This joint paper sets out a vision of the elements necessary for a comprehensive corporate reporting system that includes both financial accounting and sustainability disclosure, connected via integrated reporting.
Building upon this progress towards a unified system, the IIRC and SASB have recently announced our intention to merge into a unified organization, the Value Reporting Foundation. By integrating two entities that are focused on enterprise value creation, this merger represents significant progress towards simplifying the corporate reporting landscape.
The Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework and SASB Standards are complementary tools for investor-focused communications. The <IR> Framework provides principles-based guidance for discussing enterprise value creation prospects through the lens of IIRC’s 6 capitals, while SASB provides specific metrics to help understand risks and opportunities related to several of the capitals in greater detail. To corporate reports, the <IR> Framework adds connectivity between financial and non-financial information, while SASB standards add comparability to non-financial data across peer companies. Integrated reporting and SASB share similar conceptual underpinnings: for example, the five sustainability dimensions that underpin SASB Standards are similar to the six capitals of the International <IR> Framework.
For ten years, the <IR> Framework has offered an evolved way of thinking about long-term value creation. In 2021, SASB will celebrate its ten-year anniversary. It is fitting that these two organizations are coming together as we both celebrate these significant milestones. During the next ten years, united together under the Value Reporting Foundation, the IIRC and SASB will continue enabling organizations to think, plan, and communicate about their ability to create value over the short, medium, and long term.