LONDON, May 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) today announced the expansion of its Investor Advisory Group (IAG), a group of leading asset owners and managers committed to improving sustainability-related disclosure to investors, welcoming 15 new firms to the IAG, while also naming Barbara Zvan, Chief Risk & Strategy Officer of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, as the group’s new chair.

Both these announcements, made at the IAG’s meeting in London today, reflect the growing relevance of SASB’s sustainability accounting standards for global institutional investors, with the addition of new representation from Canada, France, Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom.

The appointment of Ms. Zvan, who has two decades of experience in portfolio management and risk management, as IAG chair indicates increasing interest from leading global investors in using SASB’s sustainability accounting standards to evaluate environmental and social risks and opportunities in investment portfolios.

“SASB welcomes the IAG’s new members as well as its new chair,” said SASB CEO Madelyn Antoncic. “Barbara’s deep experience in risk management and investment strategy at one of the world’s largest pension funds makes her uniquely suited to lead the IAG. SASB standards help ensure that investors have access to comparable, consistent and reliable information on financially material sustainability topics. Our 15 new IAG members, alongside the founding members of this group, will contribute enormously to increasing awareness of SASB’s standards throughout the world. We are grateful for their support.”

The 15 new member institutions are:

  • AXA Investment Managers
  • Brunel Pension Partnership
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)
  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Harvard Management Company
  • Hermes Investment Management
  • Legal & General Investment Management America
  • Manulife Investment Management
  • Neuberger Berman
  • Nissay Asset Management
  • Norges Bank Investment Management
  • Putnam Investments
  • Schroders

“Our mission is to safeguard and build wealth for future generations,” noted Carine Smith Ihenacho, Norges Bank Investment Management’s Chief Corporate Governance Officer. “As a long-term, universal investor, we have an interest in sustainable development. We urge for standardized, concrete and relevant sustainability data and we ask companies to go from words to numbers – because what gets measured gets managed. We welcome SASB’s work in developing industry-based standards for improved sustainability reporting.”

SASB established its Investor Advisory Group in late 2016 to provide investor feedback and guidance for the organization, and to demonstrate investor support for a market standard for investor-focused sustainability disclosure. A total of 44 firms, accounting for more than $33 trillion in assets under management, now serve as IAG members.

“As the new chair of the IAG, I hope our group of 44 leading institutional investors will show how crucial standardized sustainability disclosure is to the world’s capital markets,” said Ms. Zvan. “The fact that our new members come from a variety of countries in Europe, Asia and North America is a sign that sustainability disclosure is a global concern, and SASB’s standards are a valuable tool for both companies and investors. I would also like to thank Chris Ailman, CIO of CalSTRS and IAG Chair Emeritus, for his leadership of the group for the past two years.”

In November 2018, SASB published the world’s first complete set of 77 industry-specific sustainability accounting standards. SASB’s standards enable businesses to identify and communicate performance, on an industry-specific basis, on the sustainability issues that matter most to financial performance. SASB’s standards are unique in the marketplace due to their industry-specific focus, their emphasis on communicating to investors, and their focus on financial materiality.

About SASB

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Foundation is an independent, nonprofit standard-setting organization that develops and maintains robust reporting standards that enable businesses around the world to identify, manage and communicate financially material sustainability information to investors. SASB standards are evidence-based, developed with broad market participation, and are designed to be cost-effective for companies and decision- useful for investors. To download any of the 77 industry-specific standards, or learn more about SASB, please visit www.SASB.org.

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Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
9734774983
tfenske@Sternstrategy.com