SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Investors are increasingly looking beyond financial statements for a more complete picture of how companies create long-term value. Although businesses have begun to address material sustainability factors in their SEC filings, the quality of these disclosures is lacking, which inhibits investors from fully understanding their risk exposures. To help investors better understand this risk exposure, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) today published its first annual State of Disclosure Report, a reference document that provides an overview of the quality of existing corporate disclosure across 79 industries. "In this inaugural report, SASB presents a review and analysis of current sustainability disclosures included in hundreds of SEC filings across every major industry. The findings serve as both a reason for optimism and a reminder that much work remains to be done," writes Alan Beller, former director of the Division of Corporation Finance, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in the foreword to the Report. "Although companies appear to have increasingly recognized the risks and opportunities involved in managing material sustainability issues, they have also struggled to communicate them effectively to their investors." The report shows 81 percent of SASB disclosure topics are already being addressed in SEC filings, which indicates companies acknowledge these topics materially impact their business. However, more than 53 percent use boilerplate language and less than 24 percent of these disclosures contain metrics - demonstrating that many companies take a minimally compliant approach to sustainability disclosure. Companies must improve the quality of these disclosure to improve their usefulness in investment decision-making.