The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) announced today that three high-profile investment management firms have joined SASB’s Investor Advisory Group (IAG). The new additions are Singapore-based global investment company Temasek, Australia’s Construction and Building Unions Superannuation (Cbus), and Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company of Japan. With the newly added members, SASB’s IAG now consists of 54 institutional members, representing more than US$41 trillion in assets under management.
Eivind Lorgen, CEO and President of Nordea Asset Management in North America, and Chair of the IAG, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Temasek, Cbus and Dai-ichi Life to the IAG. The increasingly international makeup of the IAG’s membership reflects a growing consensus among global institutional investors that standardized disclosure can help capital markets participants better understand and manage the key sustainability risks and opportunities that influence financial outcomes.”
The SASB Foundation is a non-profit organization, established with the mission to establish industry-specific ESG disclosure standards for companies. The standards set by SASB are designed to enable investors to assess the materiality of reported sustainability information, and to compare companies on these metrics on a global basis. According to SASB , since 2018 317 companies have reported using the standards across 60 industries in 34 countries, with more than 950 companies referencing SASB standards as an input to their reports. SASB standards are becoming increasingly important to investors, with many large investment management firms including BlackRock and CPP investments requesting that their portfolio companies align their disclosures with SASB standards.
SASB established the IAG in late 2016 to provide investor feedback and guidance to the organization and to demonstrate investor support for standardized, investor-focused sustainability disclosure.
Png Chin Yee, Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Head, Financial Services at Temasek, said:
“Temasek is delighted to join the IAG. It is an excellent forum to exchange perspectives on how to integrate ESG considerations into investment decisions. We are also excited to be able to bring insights into some of the unique issues faced by investors in Asia.”
David Atkin, CEO of Cbus, said:
“We believe companies that take account of sustainability risks and opportunities—like those identified in SASB standards—are more likely to have sustainable, resilient business models that can generate long-term shareholder returns for our beneficiaries. Cbus has long supported improvements in corporate transparency. We value the contribution SASB standards make to helping us invest in a better future for our members.”
Miyuki Zeniya, Head of Sustainable Finance at Dai-ichi Life, said:
“As an asset owner, Dai-ichi Life agrees with SASB’s initiatives for sustainability, because we believe that achieving financial returns and solving social challenges are not mutually exclusive. We are pleased to be the first Japanese asset owner to join the IAG.”