Heron investee SASB offers a solution to the lack of comparable, material social and environmental data from public companies.
Looking for more information on the practices of public companies in order to be a better investor for society? We are, too.
Enter SASB (The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), which is helping to create industry-specific standards to improve the quality and consistency of reporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance data in SEC filings. Wonky, yes, but a growing number of investors are requesting information on material ESG issues, in recognition that these factors are important for tracking corporate performance.
We believe that SASB’s multi-stakeholder approach is compelling for investors and corporations alike. Last fall, Heron committed $2 million to SASB’s $25 million capital campaign, joining a host of other SASB investors excited about the promise of a fuller picture of how public companies interact with society, in addition to the promise of information about their financial performance.
To date, SASB has fulfilled our expectations, having successfully issued materiality standards for three sectors and 19 industries. SASB also continues to attract an impressive team of staff members (totaling 27 people) supported by a 16-member Board of Directors made up of corporate leaders, investors, philanthropists, and government officials, all of whom are expected to be instrumental in garnering widespread uptake of SASB’s disclosure standards.
Support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the TomKat Charitable Trust, the Dorris Duke Charitable Foundation and others has been instrumental to SASB’s accomplishments to date. Despite these milestones, there is still much work to be done. In order for SASB to achieve its goals and transition to financial sustainability by 2017, they need more capital, so we welcome the opportunity to share our investment due diligence with any co-investors interested in supporting SASB in this important endeavor.
 Sustainability standards released to date include: health care (6 industries), financials (7 industries), and technology and communications (6 industries).
Read more of our Better Know A Deal series that offer opportunities to think about impacting society through different types of investments.