BOSTON—Professor of Management Practice Robert G. Eccles has been named the first chairman of the board of the new Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a not-for-profit initiative officially launched in October. The new board is made up of portfolio managers, investment banking representatives, and legal experts.
“SASB will enable investors to obtain essential information about material sustainability issues free of charge, thereby minimizing the costs of research associated with integrating sustainability considerations into governance and portfolio construction activities,” said Anne Sheehan, head of corporate governance at the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), who has also been appointed to the SASB board.
Along with HBS assistant professor George Serafeim, Eccles co-founded the Innovating for Sustainability social movement (www.facebook.com/innovatingforsustainability). His most recent book, co-written with Michale P. Krzus, is One Report: Integrated Reporting of a Sustainable Strategy, which examines the process by which a company combines its financial and non-financial reports into “One Report” with varying degrees of integration. Beyond that, the internet can also be used to provide stakeholders with more detailed information and analytical tools of interest and to give them opportunities for dialogue and engagement.
Eccles is also the coauthor, with Serafeim and London Business School assistant professor Ioannis Ioannou, of research showing that there is a financial premium for ‘high sustainability’ companies. Their study, “The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behaviour and Performance,” was published last year.
“I am honored to hold this position,” said Eccles, “and eager to continue to help lead the way in advocating integrated reporting around the world.”
Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 80 open enrollment Executive Education programs and more than 60 custom programs. For more than a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who have shaped the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.