Relevant Issues (4 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 The category addresses environmental impacts associated with energy consumption. It addresses the company’s management of energy in manufacturing and/or for provision of products and services derived from utility providers (grid energy) not owned or controlled by the company. More specifically, it includes management of energy efficiency and intensity, energy mix, as well as grid reliance. Upstream (e.g., suppliers) and downstream (e.g., product use) energy use is not included in the scope.
- Water & Wastewater Management
- Waste & Hazardous Materials Management
- Ecological Impacts
- Human Rights & Community Relations
- Customer Privacy
- Data Security
- Access & Affordability
- Product Quality & Safety
- Customer Welfare
- Selling Practices & Product Labeling
- Labor Practices
- Employee Health & Safety The category addresses a company’s ability to create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace environment that is free of injuries, fatalities, and illness (both chronic and acute). It is traditionally accomplished through implementing safety management plans, developing training requirements for employees and contractors, and conducting regular audits of their own practices as well as those of their subcontractors. The category further captures how companies ensure physical and mental health of workforce through technology, training, corporate culture, regulatory compliance, monitoring and testing, and personal protective equipment.
- Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
Business Model & Innovation
- Product Design & Lifecycle Management The category addresses incorporation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in characteristics of products and services provided or sold by the company. It includes, but is not limited to, managing the lifecycle impacts of products and services, such as those related to packaging, distribution, use-phase resource intensity, and other environmental and social externalities that may occur during their use-phase or at the end of life. The category captures a company’s ability to address customer and societal demand for more sustainable products and services as well as to meet evolving environmental and social regulation. It does not address direct environmental or social impacts of the company’s operations nor does it address health and safety risks to consumers from product use, which are covered in other categories.
- Business Model Resilience
- Supply Chain Management
- Materials Sourcing & Efficiency The category addresses issues related to the resilience of materials supply chains to impacts of climate change and other external environmental and social factors. It captures the impacts of such external factors on operational activity of suppliers, which can further affect availability and pricing of key resources. It addresses a company’s ability to manage these risks through product design, manufacturing, and end-of-life management, such as by using of recycled and renewable materials, reducing the use of key materials (dematerialization), maximizing resource efficiency in manufacturing, and making R&D investments in substitute materials. Additionally, companies can manage these issues by screening, selection, monitoring, and engagement with suppliers to ensure their resilience to external risks. It does not address issues associated with environmental and social externalities created by operational activity of individual suppliers, which is covered in a separate category.
- Physical Impacts of Climate Change
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:
Industrial Machinery & Goods
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Energy is a critical input in industrial machinery manufacturing. Purchased electricity represents the largest share of energy expenditures in the industry, followed by purchased fuels. The type of energy used, magnitude of consumption, and energy management strategies depends on the type of products manufactured. A company’s energy mix, including the use of electricity generated on-site, grid-sourced electricity, and the use of alternative energy, can play an important role in influencing the cost and reliability of energy supply, and ultimately affect the company’s cost structure and regulatory risk.
Employee Health & Safety
Employee Health & Safety
Employees in industrial machinery manufacturing facilities face health and safety risks from exposure to heavy machinery, moving equipment, and electrical hazards, among others. Creating an effective safety culture is critical to proactively mitigate safety incidents, which could result in higher healthcare costs, litigation, and work disruption. By implementing strong safety protocols, including incident reporting and investigation, and promoting a culture of safety, companies can minimize safety-related expenses and potentially improve productivity in the long term.
Product Design & Lifecycle Management
Fuel Economy & Emissions in Use-phase
Many of the Industrial Machinery & Goods industry’s products are powered by fossil fuels and therefore release greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other air emissions during use. Customer preferences for improved fuel economy combined with regulations addressing emissions are increasing the demand for energy-efficient and lower-emission products in the industry. As such, companies that develop products with these characteristics may be well-positioned to capture expanding market share, reduce regulatory risk, and improve brand value.
Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
Industrial machinery companies are exposed to supply chain risks when critical materials are used in products. Companies in the industry manufacture products using critical materials with few or no available substitutes, many of which are sourced from deposits concentrated in only a few countries, which are subject to geopolitical uncertainty. Companies in this industry also face competition due to increasing global demand for these materials from other sectors, which can result in price increases and supply risks. Companies that are able to limit the use of critical materials through use of alternatives, as well as secure their supply, can mitigate the potential for financial impacts stemming from supply disruptions and volatile input prices.
Remanufacturing Design & Services
Industrial machinery and goods manufacturing uses large quantities of steel, iron, aluminum, glass, plastics, and other materials. Remanufacturing of industrial machinery systems (called "cores") is an opportunity for industrial machinery companies to limit the amount of raw materials needed to produce new machinery, as well as the time and other resources required to produce finished goods. Remanufactured products can also create value from products otherwise destined for disposal or recycling. Industrial machinery companies can achieve cost savings by reusing end-of-life parts to build remanufactured machines, which may be resold to customers. Thus, remanufacturing in process and design can reduce demand for raw materials, reduce manufacturing costs, and create new sales channels.
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