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 The category addresses direct (Scope 1) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that a company generates through its operations. This includes GHG emissions from stationary (e.g., factories, power plants) and mobile sources (e.g., trucks, delivery vehicles, planes), whether a result of combustion of fuel or non-combusted direct releases during activities such as natural resource extraction, power generation, land use, or biogenic processes. The category further includes management of regulatory risks, environmental compliance, and reputational risks and opportunities, as they related to direct GHG emissions. The seven GHGs covered under the Kyoto Protocol are included within the category—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
- Air Quality The category addresses management of air quality impacts resulting from stationary (e.g., factories, power plants) and mobile sources (e.g., trucks, delivery vehicles, planes) as well as industrial emissions. Relevant airborne pollutants include, but are not limited to, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulfur (SOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals, particulate matter, and chlorofluorocarbons. The category does not include GHG emissions, which are addressed in a separate category.
- 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
- 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
- Business Model Resilience
- Supply Chain Management
- Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
- Physical Impacts of Climate Change
Leadership & Governance
- Business Ethics
- Competitive Behavior
- Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
- Critical Incident Risk Management The category addresses the company’s use of management systems and scenario planning to identify, understand, and prevent or minimize the occurrence of low-probability, high-impact accidents and emergencies with significant potential environmental and social externalities. It relates to the culture of safety at a company, its relevant safety management systems and technological controls, the potential human, environmental, and social implications of such events occurring, and the long-term effects to an organization, its workers, and society should these events occur.
- 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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Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Road Transportation industry generates emissions mainly through the combustion of diesel and other fuels in truck engines. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) including carbon dioxide (CO2) are of particular importance to government regulators concerned about climate change and to consumers demanding low-carbon or carbon-neutral transportation solutions. As GHG emissions from trucks constitute a significant portion of transportation-related emissions, the industry is a focal point for regulations to limit GHG emissions. Changes to operations that increase fuel efficiency offer an effective way for companies to reduce fuel costs while also limiting exposure to volatile fuel pricing, regulatory costs, and other consequences of GHG emissions. While newer trucks are more fuel-efficient, measures can be taken to improve efficiency and reduce emissions in existing fleets.
Compared to other modes of transport, road freight has a more localized negative effect on air quality through its emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM). Heavy reliance on diesel fuel is of particular concern; although diesel engines realize better gas mileage than gasoline engines, they generate more harmful air pollutants. Using alternative fuels and filtering emissions prior to release can help companies comply with air quality regulations and avoid contributing to smog in cities and dense population centers, which may damage their social license to operate.
Employee Health & Safety
Driver Working Conditions
The Road Transportation industry faces challenges with driver recruitment and retention. A growing labor shortage, due in part to the challenging working conditions in the industry as well as to regulations that limit working hours, may raise labor costs and lower industry revenue. Time-critical deliveries are demanding for drivers, who may experience long and often odd hours behind the wheel, lengthy stays away from home, lack of sleep, and feelings of isolation. These factors, in combination with high injury and illness rates, largely due to accidents, make it difficult to recruit new drivers and to retain existing staff. Companies that offer better driver working conditions may benefit from lower turnover rates, higher productivity, and the ability to hire staff to expand operations and increase revenue.
Critical Incident Risk Management
Accident & Safety Management
Road transportation involves inherent dangers, including accidents resulting from mechanical failure or human error. Companies in this industry take measures to train drivers and maintenance staff to minimize accidents. Evidence of injury and fatality rates, associated costs, and investment in safety technologies supports the significance of the issue for the industry. Companies with more effective safety management can improve the efficiency of operations, retain drivers, reduce delays, and avoid costs associated with serious accidents. In contrast, those with poor safety management may experience regulatory penalties, higher insurance premiums, and service disruptions that reduce revenues and brand value.
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