Relevant Issues (3 of 26)
The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to impact enterprise value, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the SASB Standards Board continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company makes their own determination about whether or not a sustainability issue may impact its ability to create enterprise value. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability issues based on their unique business model. Why are some issues greyed out?
- GHG Emissions
- Air Quality
- Energy Management
- Water & Wastewater Management
- Waste & Hazardous Materials Management
- Ecological Impacts The category addresses management of the company’s impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity through activities including, but not limited to, land use for exploration, natural resource extraction, and cultivation, as well as project development, construction, and siting. The impacts include, but are not limited to, biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, and deforestation at all stages – planning, land acquisition, permitting, development, operations, and site remediation. The category does not cover impacts of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity.
- Human Rights & Community Relations The category addresses management of the relationship between businesses and the communities in which they operate, including, but not limited to, management of direct and indirect impacts on core human rights and the treatment of indigenous peoples. More specifically, such management may cover socio-economic community impacts, community engagement, environmental justice, cultivation of local workforces, impact on local businesses, license to operate, and environmental/social impact assessments. The category does not include environmental impacts such as air pollution or waste which, although they may impact the health and safety of members of local communities, are addressed in separate categories.
- Customer Privacy
- Data Security
- Access & Affordability
- Product Quality & Safety
- Customer Welfare
- Selling Practices & Product Labeling
- Labor Practices
- Employee Health & Safety
- Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
Business Model & Innovation
- Product Design & Lifecycle Management
- Business Model Resilience
- Supply Chain Management
- Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
- Physical Impacts of Climate Change The category addresses the company’s ability to manage risks and opportunities associated with direct exposure of its owned or controlled assets and operations to actual or potential physical impacts of climate change. It captures environmental and social issues that may arise from operational disruptions due to physical impacts of climate change. It further captures socio-economic issues resulting from companies failing to incorporate climate change consideration in products and services sold, such as insurance policies and mortgages. The category relates to the company's ability to adapt to increased frequency and severity of extreme weather, shifting climate, sea level risk, and other expected physical impacts of climate change. Management may involve enhancing resiliency of physical assets and/or surrounding infrastructure as well as incorporation of climate change-related considerations into key business activities (e.g., mortgage and insurance underwriting, planning and development of real estate projects).
Leadership & Governance
- Business Ethics
- Competitive Behavior
- Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
- Critical Incident Risk Management
- Systemic Risk Management
The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry. What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics?
Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for:
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Ecosystem Services & Impacts
Along with their timber output, forests provide valuable ecosystem services including carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, water purification and storage, soil formation, and recreational opportunities . Meanwhile, in many regions, regulations related to water quality and endangered species protection, as well as harvesting rights that are contingent upon environmental preservation, can create operational risks for companies. As such, protecting or enhancing ecosystem services within managed forestlands could mitigate reputational, demand, and operational risks related to the potential adverse environmental impacts of forestry. Companies increasingly utilize third-party certification to demonstrate sustainable forestry management practices that serve to enhance the value and productivity of their forest assets, as well as to meet rising customer demand for sustainably produced forest products.
Human Rights & Community Relations
Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Forests contribute directly to the livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. Effective relations and engagement with local communities and indigenous populations can be important to forestry companies. Communities may be affected by forestry management operations because of environmental degradation or competition for natural resources such as land and water. Conflict with communities, including or indigenous populations, could affect a company’s ability to operate in some regions, result in regulatory action, and could cause brand impacts. Conversely, companies can provide benefits to community stakeholders through employment opportunities, revenue sharing, and increased commerce. Companies can adopt various community engagement strategies to manage the risks and opportunities associated with community rights and interests, such as maintaining positive relations with local stakeholders and accommodating communities’ needs.
Physical Impacts of Climate Change
Climate Change Adaptation
Global climate change may create long-term business uncertainty for some forestry management companies. Variations in precipitation patterns and temperatures, more frequent extreme weather events and forest fires, and an increased prevalence of tree diseases and pests could adversely impact timberlands through increased mortality or diminished productivity. Conversely, climate change could also facilitate forest productivity through increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, a longer growing season, moderating temperatures in high latitudes, greater precipitation, and expanded geographic ranges for some species, positively impacting forest productivity. In light of such variability, companies could benefit from identifying and understanding potential long-term impacts of climate change on the productivity of forestlands, and adjusting forestry management strategies to optimize the productivity of their forestland assets.
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