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
- Human Rights & Community Relations
- Customer Privacy
- Data Security
- Access & Affordability
- Product Quality & Safety
- Customer Welfare The category addresses customer welfare concerns over issues including, but not limited to, health and nutrition of foods and beverages, antibiotic use in animal production, and management of controlled substances. The category addresses the company’s ability to provide consumers with manufactured products and services that are aligned with societal expectations. It does not include issues directly related to quality and safety malfunctions of manufactured products and services, but instead addresses qualities inherent to the design and delivery of products and services where customer welfare may be in question. The scope of the category also captures companies’ ability to prevent counterfeit products.
- Selling Practices & Product Labeling The category addresses social issues that may arise from a failure to manage the transparency, accuracy, and comprehensibility of marketing statements, advertising, and labeling of products and services. It includes, but is not limited to, advertising standards and regulations, ethical and responsible marketing practices, misleading or deceptive labeling, as well as discriminatory or predatory selling and lending practices. This may include deceptive or aggressive selling practices in which incentive structures for employees could encourage the sale of products or services that are not in the best interest of customers or clients.
- 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
Leadership & Governance
- Business Ethics
- Competitive Behavior The category covers social issues associated with existence of monopolies, which may include, but are not limited to, excessive prices, poor quality of service, and inefficiencies. It addresses a company’s management of legal and social expectation around monopolistic and anti-competitive practices, including issues related to bargaining power, collusion, price fixing or manipulation, and protection of patents and intellectual property (IP).
- 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:
Media & Entertainment
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Media pluralism, which is diversity in the broadest sense, includes both external and internal pluralism. External pluralism refers to media ownership, independent editorial boards, channels, titles, or programs. Internal pluralism refers to the social, racial/ethnic, and political diversity represented in media content. Media and entertainment companies can ensure pluralism by maintaining on- and off-screen diversity and by safeguarding the independence of editorial boards and programming.
Selling Practices & Product Labeling
Journalistic Integrity & Sponsorship Identification
Audiences rely on journalists for accurate and timely information on current events. Principles of journalism include accuracy, fairness, minimization of harm, independence, accountability, and transparency. Failure to adhere to these principles can affect the credibility of not only the journalist, but also of the company responsible for publishing or broadcasting these materials. As regulations around the disclosure of sponsorship and endorsement evolve, transparency is important for both journalism and entertainment content.
Intellectual Property Protection & Media Piracy
Companies in this industry rely on their intellectual property (IP) to generate revenue. However, while IP protection is inherent to their business model, strong IP protections may sometimes conflict with the interests of society. Proponents of IP protection assert its importance as a driver of innovation. Opponents argue that assigning ownership can stifle innovation and competition by enabling the creation of monopolies. Despite the industry’s best efforts, media piracy is rampant and companies devote significant resources to protecting and enforcing their IP rights. Media and entertainment companies therefore must balance protecting their intellectual property with ensuring access to media and allowing fair use.
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