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General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for:
Fuel Cells & Industrial Batteries

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Energy Management

Energy Management

Manufacturing in the Fuel Cells & Industrial Batteries industry requires energy to power machines and cooling, ventilation, lighting, and product-testing systems. Purchased electricity can represent a major share of the energy sources used in the industry and can account for a notable proportion of the total cost of materials and value added. Various sustainability factors are contributing to an increase in the cost of conventional electricity while making alternative sources cost-competitive. Energy efficiency efforts can have a significant positive impact on operational efficiency and profitability, especially given the fact that many companies operate on relatively low or negative margins. By improving the efficiency of the manufacturing process and exploring alternative energy sources, fuel cell and industrial battery companies can reduce both their indirect environmental impacts and their operating expenses.

Employee Health & Safety

Workforce Health & Safety

Fuel cell and industrial battery manufacturing workers may be exposed to hazardous substances or workplace accidents that can have chronic or acute health impacts. Companies could face litigation as a result of injuries or chronic health impacts from working in fuel cell and battery manufacturing or recycling facilities. Companies that develop and implement strong safety processes and internal controls, including through providing health and safety training, protective gear, improved ventilation, and regular health monitoring, can improve workforce health and safety performance and mitigate regulatory and litigation risks.

Product Design & Lifecycle Management

Product Efficiency

Both customer demand and regulatory requirements are driving innovation in energy-efficient products with lower environmental impacts and lower total cost of ownership. Therefore, research and development in the Fuel Cells & Industrial Batteries industry that drive energy and thermal efficiency and enhance storage capacities can lower barriers to adoption. Advances in battery technology to increase storage capabilities and improve charging efficiencies, while lowering costs for customers, are critical for the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid. Fuel cell and industrial battery manufacturers that are able to improve efficiency in the use phase will be able to increase revenues and market share, pressured by stricter environmental regulations, high energy costs, and customer preferences.

Product End-of-life Management

As the rate of adoption for fuel cells and industrial batteries increases and more products reach their end of life, designing products to facilitate end-of-life management and maximize materials efficiency is likely to become increasingly important. Fuel cells and batteries may contain hazardous substances, which must be properly disposed of as they can pose human health or environmental risks. The emergence of several laws regarding the end-of-life phase of batteries has recently heightened the importance of the issue, creating potential added costs of managing risks, as well as opportunities, through regulatory incentives. Effective design for disassembly and reuse or recycling will be a key element for increasing recovery rates in order to reduce the lifecycle impacts of fuel cells and batteries. Furthermore, given the input price volatility and resource constraints of some raw materials, fuel cell and industrial battery companies that are able to develop take-back and recycling systems and reuse recovered materials in manufacturing may increase their long-term operational efficiency and improve their risk profile.

Materials Sourcing & Efficiency

Materials Sourcing

Manufacturing certain types of industrial batteries and fuel cells requires an available supply of materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and platinum. Access to these materials is critical for the continuous development and scaling of clean energy technologies like fuel cells and industrial batteries. Limited global resources of these critical materials, as well as their concentration in countries that may have relatively limited governance and regulatory structures or are subject to geopolitical tensions, expose companies to the risk of supply-chain disruptions and input-price increases or volatility. At the same time, competition from other industries that utilize the same critical materials and/or employ fuel cell and battery technologies is likely to exacerbate supply risks. Fuel cell and industrial battery companies with strong supply-chain standards and the ability to adapt to increasing resource scarcity will be better positioned to protect shareholder value. Companies that are able to limit the use of critical materials, and to secure their supply of the materials they do use, can mitigate potential financial impacts due to supply disruptions, volatile input prices, and reputational and regulatory risks.

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