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SASB Releases Provisional Sustainability Accounting Standards for Health Care Industry, A Key Milestone in Improving Disclosure of Material Non-Financial Information

SAN FRANCISCO, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ (SASB)™, a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides sustainability accounting standards for use by publicly listed corporations in the U.S., today released its first set of provisional standards for industries in the Health Care sector.  SASB encourages corporations to begin using the provisional standards, which are designed for disclosure in the Form 10-K, 20-F and other required SEC filings. SASB is accredited to set standards by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

SASB's provisional standards are available for six industries in the Health Care sector: biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies & equipment, health care delivery, health care distributors and managed care. The standards address the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues likely to be material for companies in these industries. Issues addressed include resource management, pharmaceutical water contamination, drug safety and side effects, ethical marketing, affordability and fair pricing, managed care price performance and safety of clinical trial participants.SASB's standards development process includes research supported by Bloomberg technology, data and analytical tools; balanced, multi-stakeholder industry working groups; a public comment period; and review by an independent Standards Council comprised of experts in standards development, securities law, investment, environmental law, metrics and accounting. The working groups for the Health Care sector— which included 127 survey responses— represented publicly traded companies with more than $800 billion market capital and investment firms with more than $952 billion in assets under management. Working group members include representatives from Baxter ,Cleveland Clinic, J&J, Kaiser Permanente, Pfizer, Merck, Novo Nordisk, AllianceBernstein, Breckinridge Capital Advisors, Calvert Investment and USB Securities.

"The broad participation in our standards setting process demonstrates the  unmet need in the U.S. financial accounting system to articulate material, non-financial risks and opportunities via the channel through which investors are accustomed to receiving information," said Dr. Jean Rogers, founder and executive director of SASB.  "SASB standards are cost-effective, relevant, useful, comparable and auditable. They are the first that truly enable comparison of peer performance and benchmarking within an industry."SASB standards help corporations comply with existing regulation, Regulation S-K, that requires that all material issues must be reported in the Form 10-K. U.S. Federal law requires publicly listed companies to disclose material information, defined by the U.S. Supreme Court as "presenting a substantial likelihood that the disclosure of the omitted fact would have been viewed by the reasonable investor as having significantly altered the 'total mix' of information made available." SASB standards will be developed for 80+ industries in 10 sectors over the next two years.

"By establishing standards for reporting industry-focused metrics on material non-financial information, SASB helps provide investors with a more complete view of a company's risks and opportunities," said Robert Herz, former chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

In the coming months SASB will release provisional sustainability accounting standards for the Financials and Technology & Communications sectors. Standards for the Non-Renewables sector are in active development. View the full schedule of SASB's standards development process here.

About SASB The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ (SASB)™ is an independent 501(c)3 organization that establishes and maintains industry-specific standards for use in disclosing material sustainability issues for the benefit of investors, corporations and the public. More than 650 survey responses, from individuals representing $8.8T assets under management and $3.1T market capital, have been collected for standards development for three sectors to date.  For more information about SASB, visit, or follow us on YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn.SASB Healthcare Industry Working Group Participants*CorporationsInvestors/AnalystsIntermediaries Atlas Copco


AccountAbilityBaxter International Inc.

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees

Antea Group Becton, Dickinson and Company

The Art of Value

Arup Laboratories Biogen Idec 

Bloomberg LP

Badrick Consulting, LLC Biomet Microfixation

Boston Common Asset Management

Bain & Company Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA

Breckinridge Capital Advisors

Berg & Associates Boulder Community Hospital

Calvert Investments

Casazza Herman, LLC CBRE Group, Inc. 

Core Capital Management


Crowe Horwath LLPCleveland Clinic

Domini Social Investments, LLC


Harrington Investments

Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Encision, Inc

Global Impact Investing Network

Ernst & Young GGZ Drenthe

PGGM Investments

HIMSS (Healthcare Information & Management System Society) HCA Holdings, Inc 

Service Employees International Union

Indian Council of Medical Research Ingersoll Rand

Stifel Nicolaus

Indiana University Johnson & Johnson 

Sustainable Capital

KDH Systems Kaiser Permanente


Meridian Management Consulting Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment

Trillium Asset Management, LLC

MetaVu Merck 

UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust

The Middle Way, Pty Ltd Mettler-Toledo International Inc.

UBS Securities

My-linh NgoMontefiore Medical CenterOrange County Sustainability Collaborative Novo Nordisk Physicians for Social Responsibility Nura Life Sciences Practice Greenhealth Pfizer PricewaterhouseCoopers Schneider Electric San Francisco Department of Public Health UCSF Medical Center ValueStream Advisors Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Washington Hospital Healthcare System Weston Solutions, Inc*All industry working group participants serve as individuals imparting personal and professional expertise. The organizations listed alongside participants names on SASB's list of IWG participants are shown for affiliation purposes only – no past or current organizational endorsement of SASB is hereby implied.

SOURCE Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
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