The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the International Integrated Reporting Council merger aims to streamline ESG reporting to improve data for investors.

On 25 November 2020, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) announced that they are merging into a unified organisation, the Value Reporting Foundation. This move reflects an effort to provide investors and corporates “with a comprehensive corporate reporting framework across the full range of enterprise value drivers and standards” and recognises “the need for data-driven information”.

Background

The two organisations have worked together since 2014, under a group known as the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, which was established by the IIRC. In the context of increasing calls for convergence and simplification of the corporate reporting landscape, the two organisations have expanded their collaboration. Recent initiatives include:

  • In September 2020, IIRC, SASB, and other standard setting agencies released a statement of intent to work together towards comprehensive corporate reporting.
  • In October 2020, SASB and IIRC committed to work closely with the International Organization of Securities Commission and the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation in establishing a global standard.

Current plans

The merger is aimed at advancing efforts to harmonise and streamline ESG reporting, so as to present investors with more accurate, comparable data. In this context, the new organisation will maintain the Integrated Reporting Framework to build connectivity across financial, manufactured, human, social/relationship, intellectual and natural capital thinking. The organisation will also use the SASB standards to add comparability to non-financial data across companies within the same industry.

The Value Reporting Foundation will be established mid-2021 and will be headquartered in London and San Francisco. Janine Guillot, the current SASB CEO, will be the new chief executive.

The Global Reporting Initiative, a co-founder of the IIRC, said the group welcomed the news of the merger. Whether the Value Reporting Foundation could eventually integrate other organisations involved in sustainability reporting and/or sustainability standards remains to be seen.