Calvert welcomes publication of standards from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

From

John Streur

What the SASB standards mean for investors?

Calvert Research and Management, a leader in Responsible Investing and an affiliate of Eaton Vance, believes the competitive functioning of securities markets requires that companies provide transparency through disclosure of material environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance factors.

“That is why we are delighted by the announcement of the official publication of standards from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). These standards fill a void that had presented obstacles to investors in the evaluation of ESG considerations and companies in their ESG disclosure practices,” says John Streur, President and CEO Calvert Research and Management.

SASB took on the crucial task of establishing a framework, in close collaboration with investors and companies, to determine the financially material sustainability issues relevant to an industry and the companies within that industry. The SASB standards will give companies a guide to focus their disclosure efforts appropriately, thereby providing investors with the ESG information most relevant to longer-term financial performance.

Mr Streur says “Calvert is honored to have been involved with SASB since its earliest days. We are founding members of both the SASB Investor Advisory Group and the SASB Alliance, and through these channels have been able to voice our views as the SASB standards evolved over the past several years.

“Our collaboration extends across our organization. Our analysts – some of whom participated in SASB’s standard-setting industry consultations and working groups and hold SASB’s Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential – incorporate SASB’s concepts of materiality into the research we do on sectors and companies.”

The codification of the SASB standards allows responsible investors like Calvert to evaluate and compare how effectively companies manage their material ESG risks and opportunities.

“Calvert incorporates SASB tools into our proprietary research and investment processes to create investment products that reflect ESG materiality. We evaluate the risk characteristics and exposures of our index strategies not only through traditional financial measures, but through the lens of SASB’s industry classification scheme, the SICS, as well. Our corporate engagement work includes active dialogue with companies on disclosure of material ESG issues, and we look forward to working with other SASB Alliance members to engage with companies to disclose more information in accordance with the standards.

“All this has contributed to bringing more uniformity and transparency to the market as market participants look beyond traditional financial metrics to assess the risks and opportunities facing a company,” notes Mr Streur.

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