The nonprofit Sustainability Accounting Standards Board has released provisional sustainability standards for industries in the nonrenewable resources sector, such as oil, gas and mining.
The provisional standards address environmental, social, and governance issues most likely to contain material information for public companies in eight industries in the sector, including oil & gas - exploration & production, oil & gas - midstream, oil & gas - refining & marketing, oil & gas - services, coal operations, iron & steel producers, metals & mining, and construction materials. Issues include greenhouse gas emissions; air quality; community relations; and health, safety and emergency management.
“The nonrenewable resources sector faces distinct risks, such as increased regulatory pressure due to carbon emissions and the need for a culture of safety and emergency preparedness," said SASB CEO Dr. Jean Rogers in a statement. "Conversely the sector faces unique opportunities stemming from product innovation and maintaining positive relations with key stakeholders such as communities directly affected by their activities. SASB standards help companies manage and investors evaluate the increasingly important nonfinancial risks and opportunities relevant to this sector.”
SASB has a standards development process that includes research, industry working groups, a 90-day public comment period, and review by an independent Standards Council. The working groups for the nonrenewable resources sector—which included 221 registrants—represented publicly traded companies with more than $2 trillion in market capital and investment firms with more than $3.3 trillion in assets under management. SASB’s standards will remain provisional for at least one year after the issuance date. SASB welcomes feedback on the standards during the provisional phase.
The nonrenewable resources sector is the fourth set of industry standards released by SASB to date, bringing the total standards produced to date to 27 industries. SASB has already released provisional sustainability accounting standards for the healthcare, financials, and technology and communications sectors. By 2016 SASB expects to have released standards for 10 sectors covering more than 80 industries. The full schedule of SASB’s standards development process is available here.