The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the International Integrated Reporting Council have signed a memorandum of understanding pledging to collaborate more closely to advance corporate disclosures of sustainability efforts to investors.

The agreement, signed by SASB executive director Dr. Jean Rogers and IIRC CEO Paul Druckman, outlines the basis for ongoing cooperation, collaboration and alignment between the two organizations, which have been working together already on developing the Integrated Reporting Framework that the IIRC finalized last month (see IIRC Releases Integrated Reporting Framework). The agreement is dated Dec. 17, 2013, but was jointly announced by the two organizations on Thursday.

[IMGCAP(1)]Among other measures, SASB and the IIRC agreed to strive for complementarity and compatibility in the ongoing development of their respective frameworks, guidelines and standards, and take proactive measures to share the work of the other organization.

"We will work with SASB to identify ways and means by which the International Framework and SASB standards can be aligned to strengthen corporate reporting and disclosure," IIRC CEO Paul Druckman said in a statement.

[IMGCAP(2)]SASB plans to develop sustainability accounting standards for more than 80 industries in 10 sectors over the next two years. Last year, it released provisional standards for the health care sector (see SASB Releases Sustainability Accounting Standards for Health Care Sector).

“SASB's standards are a practical implementation of Integrated Reporting in the context of U.S. capital markets,” said Rogers. "The missions of SASB and the IIRC are aligned, and formalizing our partnership will strengthen harmonization and guidance to companies regarding improved disclosure on material sustainability factors. Both organizations put investors at the heart of determining materiality."