Sustainability | Governance

Updates Given To Raw Material Sourcing In Apparel From The Sasb

Jan 13, 2023 | Medini Perera

What is the SASB ? The disclosure of financially significant sustainability information by businesses to their investors is governed by SASB Standards. The Standards, which are available for 77 industries, pinpoint the subset of environmental, social, and governance issues that are most crucial to each sector's financial performance.

What is the objective of this project ? 

The objective of the raw material sourcing project is to analyse and enhance the measurability, completeness, comparability, alignment, and cost-effectiveness of disclosures related to raw material sourcing, the Apparel, Accessories & Footwear Standards were evaluated. The effort also attempted to increase the Standards' universal applicability.

Raw Materials Sourcing ?

Numerous raw materials are used by businesses in this sector as important inputs for final items. These have typically been made of materials including cotton, leather, wool, rubber, precious metals, and minerals. In places where the industry's supply chain functions, environmental and societal variables including climate change, land usage, resource scarcity, and war are progressively influencing how reliably the industry can get materials. These variables can then have an effect on company risks such as reputational hazards, supply disruptions, price volatility, and material shortages. Companies can reduce these risks by working with their suppliers, improving supply chain visibility, implementing certification standards, and/or finding cutting-edge substitute resources such recycled secondary feedstocks.Companies that handle this issue pro-actively stand to benefit from enhanced brand recognition, expanded market prospects, and reduced vulnerability to price fluctuation and potential supply interruptions. Failure to do so may result in lower profit margins, slower revenue growth, and/or higher capital costs.

What are the updates to the standard for raw material sourcing in apparel ?

Through the amendment of the Raw Materials Sourcing disclosure subject and two accompanying metrics, the Apparel, Accessories & Footwear Standard has been amended. Through better comparability with a whole range of measures, the update principally seeks to increase decision-usefulness. 

In addition, the upgrade aims to improve verifiability and conform to accepted industry standards. The metrics for the Raw Materials Sourcing disclosure issue have been changed in the revised Apparel, Accessories & Footwear Standard to reflect the following changes: 

(1)Priority list of raw materials; each priority raw materials 

(2) environmental and/or social factor(s) most likely to endanger sourcing; 

(3) discussion of business risks and/or opportunities related to the environmental and/or social factors; 

(4) management strategy for addressing business risks and opportunities. b) Update the metric CG-AA-440a. 

The proportion of raw materials ("the quantitative metric") that have been third-party certified to a standard for social and/or environmental sustainability. 

(1) Amount of priority raw materials bought, broken down by kind; 

(2) Amount of each priority raw material certified to a third-party environmental and/or social standard, broken down by type.

The amended standard includes two new metric codes: metric CG-AA-440a.1 has been updated to CG-AA-440a.3, and metric CG-AA-440a.2 has been changed to CG-AA-440a.4. The modified standard does not add or remove any metrics related to the Raw Materials Sourcing disclosure topic. 

The use of new metric codes in these two instances will assist data firms, users, preparers, and other pertinent stakeholders in tracking information in light of the updated formatting and data points requested in the revised standard. To clarify the disclosure topic's scope, the adjustments also contain a few minor changes to the Raw Materials Sourcing topic summary.

How to source sustainable raw materials as SASB standard ?

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) provides industry-specific standards for companies to report on their sustainability performance. One way to source raw materials in a way that aligns with SASB standards is to prioritise materials that are produced sustainably, with minimal environmental impact. This might involve seeking out raw materials that are produced using renewable energy, or that have been certified as sustainably grown or harvested. It could also involve working with suppliers who are committed to sustainability and can provide evidence of their efforts in this area.

Another option is to consider using recycled or recovered materials as raw materials, rather than relying on virgin resources. This can help to reduce the overall environmental impact of the materials used in your products or operations, and can also support the development of circular economy practices.

There are many materials that can be produced sustainably, with minimal environmental impact. Some examples include:

  1. Renewable materials: These are materials that are derived from natural, renewable resources and can be replenished over time. Examples include bamboo, wool, and cork.

  1. Recycled materials: These are materials that have been recovered from waste streams and used to produce new products. Examples include recycled paper, plastic, and glass.

  1. Certified materials: There are various certification programs that are designed to verify that materials have been produced sustainably, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for wood and paper products, and the Rainforest Alliance for agricultural products.

  1. Low-impact materials: These are materials that have a lower environmental impact compared to alternatives. For example, natural fibers like cotton and linen have a lower environmental impact compared to synthetic fibers like polyester.

It's important to note that the sustainability of a material can depend on many factors, including how it is produced, transported, and used. It can be helpful to consider the full lifecycle of a material when evaluating its sustainability.

Finally, it can be helpful to engage with stakeholders, including customers, employees, and investors, to understand their sustainability priorities and how they might influence your sourcing decisions. This can help to ensure that your efforts to source sustainable raw materials align with the expectations of those who are important to your business.


Mitchell, S. H. (2020, March 12). SASB to update sustainable sourcing metrics for apparel industry - environmental law - united states. SASB To Update Sustainable Sourcing Metrics For Apparel Industry - Environmental Law - United States. Retrieved January 8, 2023, from 

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