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Technical Director - Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

Technical Director

The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel in this position.

About SASB

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board™ (SASB™) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization engaged in the development and dissemination of industry-specific sustainability accounting standards. SASB will establish an understanding of material sustainability issues facing industries and create sustainability accounting standards suitable for disclosure in standard filings such as the Form 10-K. SASB addresses the unique needs of the U.S. market, establishing standards for integrated reporting that are concise, comparable within an industry, and relevant to all ~13,000 publicly listed companies in the U.S.

Investors will benefit from a complete view of sustainability risks and opportunities facing companies, and access to comparable, material data that fully characterizes the potential for long term value creation. Companies will enjoy a cost-effective way to prepare an integrated report using the Form 10-K, and create sustainable value by managing performance on the most material issues. The Public will benefit from improved transparency and competitiveness of US industry.

Please visit www.sasb.org for more information.

Job Summary

The Technical Director plays a key role in the codification and update of industry-specific sustainability accounting standards – including metrics and technical protocols -- for each of 11 sectors and 79 industries in the Sustainable Industry Classification System (SICS). The Technical Director acts as the steward for the quality and integrity of the SASB code in accordance with the SASB Conceptual Framework and Rules of Procedure. The Technical Director is primarily responsible for the metrics and technical protocols in the SASB standards, ensuring alignment with other standards to maintain cost-effectiveness and decision-usefulness.    The Technical Director supports the Director of Research of SASB in liaising with the standards setting governance bodies involved in the codification of SASB standards.

The Technical Director liaises with SASB sector analysts to review proposed changes and to ensure the quality of the code particularly with respect to quality and consistency on cross-cutting issues.   

Reporting

The Technical Director reports to the Director of Research at SASB. 

Responsibilities

Stewardship for the Quality and Integrity of the SASB Code. The Technical Director has overall responsibility for the identification of decision-useful, comparable and cost-beneficial accounting metrics for material and industry-specific sustainability issues, in accordance with the SASB Conceptual Framework. The Director is responsible for maintaining the overall quality, consistency, and accuracy of all SASB standards, including accounting metrics and technical protocols.

The Technical Director ensures that Sustainability Accounting Standards are systematically and regularly updated to reflect evolving science, technology and industry use.  The Technical Director is also responsible for documenting alignment, liaising with industry associations that maintain metrics, and ensuring harmonization of the SASB standards with other relevant industry-specific or other sustainability metrics. The Technical Director ensures that the metrics and technical protocols are ‘suitable criteria’ for attestation, and acts as the SASB liaison with the PCAOB and AICPA.   

Support and Coordination of Proposed Code Changes. The Technical Director supports activities of the Sector Analysts in proposing changes to the metrics or technical protocols that are reflected in the SASB standards. Specifically, the Technical Director ensures that all proposed updates to the Code reflect best practices in sustainability measurement, standardization, and accounting, and are documented in a transparent and dynamic format.

Metrics Quality.   The Technical Director is responsible for testing, documenting, and defending the quality of the metrics for use by analysts and investors in investment decisions, including ensuring the comparability, relevance, decision-usefulness, and auditability of the metrics.

Plan for Quality and Coordination. The Technical Director is responsible for creating and maintaining a plan for quality that supports high-quality metrics and standards as an outcome of codification activities. The Technical Director will work with the Head of the SSO to coordinate and execute the quality control plan.    

Cost-benefit Analysis. In addition to assessing the cost-benefit of each metric in the Code, the Director is responsible for liaising with a University commissioned to evaluate the firm level and industry level implications of implementing the SASB standards.

Governance.  The Technical Director supports the Director of Research in managing relationships and organizing convenings for the various governance bodies involved in SASB’s standards development process, including the Standards Board.  The Technical Director reviews the materials prepared by the sector analysts for review by the governance bodies to ensure the format is consistent with Board expectations and needs, and ensures changes to the metrics and/or protocols are appropriate, defensible, understandable, and consistent across sectors.    The Technical Director has oversight for the QA/QC of documents produced for public exposure and comment.  

Technical Interpretation of the SASB Code. The Technical Director oversees the relevance and accuracy of technical interpretations of the SASB standards that may relate to the scope, intent, reference standard, and/or calculation methodology. Sector Analysts are responsible for identifying areas where the standards need interpretation and prepare a proposal for a technical interpretation, for approval by the Technical Director.

Maintaining SASB proprietary data and research.    The Technical Director is responsible for maintaining the timeliness and quality of SASB proprietary research, including the Form 10-K analysis (Current State of Disclosure on SASB topics) in the 10-K and the SASB data tables with industry mean, range, and standard deviation for performance on all of the SASB metrics.    

Thought Leadership and External Collaboration. The Technical Director is responsible for forming and maintaining partnerships with other organizations that maintain standards, methodologies, reporting frameworks, and technical definitions that are cited in, referenced by, and/or have conceptual overlap with SASB Standards. The Technical Director also acts as the SASB technical representative for any outside working group and initiative in which the organization is involved, leading responses to public comment on any standards that may affect SASB. The Technical Director leverages his or her technical expertise to provide visibility for SASB and build awareness around SASB sustainability accounting standards.  The Technical Director may often author letters in response to stakeholders regarding technical questions on  SASB standards.  The Technical Director may also author technical publications and present SASB’s work at conferences.   

Climate Risk.  The Technical Director maintains SASB’s approach and relationships with other technical bodies that are referenced in SASB standards or contribute to thought leadership in the area of climate risk.   This may include, among others, CDSB, CDP, EPA, TCFD, WRI, WWF, and others.  

Supervisory Responsibilities. The Technical Director may supervise staff that are allocated on a part-time or full-time basis to support technical activities.  Currently there are no staff assigned or allocated to the Technical Director in fulfilling these duties, although there are 11 sector analysts that contribute to research and analysis of technical issues.   The Technical Director may supervise consultants, advisors, or vendors that are contracted to support technical activities.

Other: Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

  • 10 years of experience as an environmental scientist with experience in metrics and measurement for environmental and social impacts.
  • Technical undergraduate degree and Master’s Degree in engineering, science, or finance preferred.
  • SASB’s FSA certification required within 1 year.  
  • Familiarity with general and industry based codes, standards, and rating systems for sustainability impacts.
  • Familiarity with integration of ESG factors into investment decisions is preferred.
  • Experience with Bloomberg terminal and use of other industry resources for identifying performance data on sustainability metrics and assessing correlations to financial performance.
  • Superior research and analysis skills; comprehension and synthesis of complex information; ability to combine ‘big picture’ thinking and highly-technical analysis.
  • Broad-based environmental and sustainability knowledge and ability to work with diverse industry sectors and sustainability issues; ability to apply consistency in logic and analytical approach. 
  • Excellent writing and speaking skills across a range of formats and audiences.
  • Professional publications and/or peer-reviewed journal contributions.
  • Experience  with statistical analyses of environmental and social data.
  • Experience with the concept of financial materiality as it applies to ESG data.
  • Proven ability to manage competing priorities and deliver to strict deadlines.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and constructively within a team of diverse skill sets and ranges of experience.
  • Demonstrated commitment to high professional, ethical standards and a diverse workplace.
  • High energy, positive, “can-do” attitude, attention to detail and high degree of initiative.
  • Collaborative work style; entrepreneurial; excels in a fast pace, changing team-based environment.

Up to 25% travel required to represent SASB at conferences and convenings with stakeholders and other standards setting organizations.

Special ADA requirements

  • SASB is in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and does not discriminate with regard to applicants or employees with disabilities, and will make reasonable accommodation when necessary.
  • For the purposes of ADA, the “Essential Duties and Responsibilities” and “Qualifications” are essential job functions.
  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior/office work environment, with typical office noise, equipment, and with staff tending to other business transactions.
  • Both standing and sitting are required for extended periods of time, with majority of work of the job done sitting. Approximately three-quarters of the time performing job duties is spent using a computer keyboard and/or telephone.

Various types of office equipment/supplies are used to accomplish the job requirements and include, but are not limited to phones, computers, pens, pencils, calculators, computer keyboards, telephone, printers, etc. 

TO APPLY

Please submit your resume and cover letter via email to careers@sasb.org, with the email subject as "Technical Director"

Recruiter: Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
careers@sasb.org
www.sasb.org