Environmental, social, and governance matters all contribute to form an organization's sustainability reporting. This area of SEC disclosure and corporate reporting is increasing in interest and demand. Employees, supply chain partners, and investors are all interested in the additional color that this reporting provides.
Bob Hirth, Evan Harvey, via teleconference faciliated by John Stout, Debbie Walker Kool, and moderator, Miron Marcotte, explored the following questions:
What is the Sustainability Accounts Standard Board (SASB), how was it formed, and what are its mission and activities?
Why are institutional investors interested in and, in some cases, demanding these additional disclosures?
What does the SEC already require in terms of sustainability reporting?
How are the SASB suggested disclosures developed by industry and what are they?
What is the current state of sustainability reporting within and outside of Form 10-K?
Why might you consider this reporting and activity to enhance the value of your organization?
How are non-public companies approaching sustainability and reporting, and what benefits are they seeing?
What questions about sustainability should directors be asking in 2018?
“The SASB Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit that is responsible for the funding and oversight of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). The SASB maintains sustainability accounting standards that help public corporations disclose material, decision-useful information to investors in mandatory filings. The SASB, through its Foundation, also provides education and resources that advance use of the standards.”
Bob Hirth serves as COSO Chair and was unanimously elected by the board of its sponsoring organizations in June 2013. His experience includes all of COSO's mission disciplines; Enterprise Risk Management, Internal Control and Fraud Deterrence. He has worked on assignments and made presentations in over 20 countries, serving more than 50 organizations and working closely with board members, C-level executives, finance and accounting personnel as well as public accounting firm partners and employees.
Most recently, he served as a Senior Managing Director of Protiviti, a global internal audit and business risk consulting firm that operates in 22 countries. Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President, global internal audit and a member of the Firm's six-person executive management team for the first ten years of Protiviti's development.
In 2012, Bob was appointed to serve a two year term on the Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and was re-appointed to serve a three-year term ending December 31, 2016. He became a board member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) in 2017.
Bob started his career in public accounting and became a global equity partner of Arthur Andersen in 1988. During his tenure there, he worked in the Dallas, Melbourne Australia, San Jose and San Francisco offices, serving as a partner in both the audit and advisory practices of the firm. For over 20 years, he practiced as a CPA in Texas and California and also qualified as a chartered accountant and registered company auditor while working in Australia.
In 2013, Bob was inducted into The American Hall of Distinguished Audit Practitioners. In 2014 and 2015, he served as the Chairman of the IIA's IPPF re-look task force. Bob graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with a concentration in accounting.
Debbie is an associate in Fredrikson & Byron's Corporate and Securities practices, with active participation in its Business General Advisory Services, M&A, Corporate Governance and Sustainability groups. A member of the Minnesota State Bar Association drafting committee for the Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Act, which was passed in the Minnesota Legislature in March 2014, Debbie focuses part of her practice on forming and advising benefit corporations on matters relating to growth, governance, compliance and sustainability.
Debbie is the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s CSR Subcommittee on the implementation of the ABA Model Principles on Labor Trafficking and Child Labor, which wrote Model Principles for American companies for the prevention of child and forced labor in their supply chains. Once adopted by the ABA House of Delegates in 2014, the Committee has focused its efforts on promulgating the Model Principles and advising companies on the legal and sustainability risks of forced labor and supply chain practices.
In 2017 - 2018, Debbie served as a member of the Super Bowl's Anti Sex Trafficking Committee, which was established by the Super Bowl Host Committee to prepare Minnesota to address the risks of sex trafficking related to the Super Bowl and other major sporting events.
Debbie is a member of the board of directors of WATCH. Before attending law school, Debbie lived and worked in India as a director of a non-profit that seeks to rescue victims of sex-trafficking. She received her bachelor of law from the University College of Dublin, Ireland. As graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Debbie has served as an adjunct professor for its Corporate Governance class.
Evan Harvey is the Director of Corporate Responsibility for Nasdaq. He manages all corporate sustainability (environmental, social, and governance strategy), philanthropic, and volunteering efforts. This includes internal management of systems and disclosures as well as external engagement with public companies, institutional investors, advocacy groups, and other stock exchanges. He currently sits on the U.S. Network Board of the United Nations Global Compact, and previously served as the first chairman of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) Sustainability Working Group and an Advisory Board Member for the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). His work has been published in Forbes and the Sustainable Accounting Review, and he is a regular contributor to Capital Finance International.
Evan has worked at Nasdaq since 2004, holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Texas, and lives outside Washington DC.