Relevant Issues (4 of 26)
Why are some issues greyed out?The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.
- GHG Emissions
- Air Quality
- Energy Management
- Water & Wastewater Management
- Waste & Hazardous Materials Management
Ecological ImpactsThe 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
- Customer Privacy
- Data Security
- Access & Affordability
- Product Quality & Safety
- Customer Welfare
- Selling Practices & Product Labeling
- Labour Practices
Employee Health & SafetyThe 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 and Innovation
Product Design & Lifecycle ManagementThe 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 ResilienceThe category addresses an industry’s capacity to manage risks and opportunities associated with incorporating social, environmental, and political transitions into long-term business model planning. This includes responsiveness to the transition to a low-carbon and climate-constrained economy, as well as growth and creation of new markets among unserved and underserved socio-economic populations. The category highlights industries in which evolving environmental and social realities may challenge companies to fundamentally adapt or may put their business models at risk.
- Supply Chain Management
- Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
- Physical Impacts of Climate Change
Leadership and Governance
- Business Ethics
- Competitive Behaviour
- Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
- Critical Incident Risk Management
- Systemic Risk Management
Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Home Builders
Land Use & Ecological Impacts
Home builders face risks associated with the ecological impacts of development activities. Developments often take place on previously undeveloped land, and entities must manage the ecosystem disruption of construction activities as well as the regulations and permitting processes that accompany ‘greenfield’ land development. Regardless of the siting decisions entities make, industry development activities generally carry risks related to land and water contamination, mismanagement of waste, and excessive strain on water resources during the construction and use phases. Violation of environmental regulations can result in costly fines and delays that decrease financial returns while potentially harming brand value. Entities with repeated violations or a history of negative ecological impacts may find seeking permits and approvals from local communities for new developments difficult, thereby decreasing future revenue and market share. Entities that concentrate development efforts in water-stressed regions may witness challenges to permitting approvals and increased land or home value depreciation because of water shortage concerns. Environmental quality control procedures, ‘smart growth’ strategies (including a focus on redevelopment sites) and conservation strategies may help ensure compliance with environmental laws, and therefore mitigate financial risks, while improving future growth opportunities.
Workforce Health & Safety
Home construction requires a significant amount of manual labour from entity employees and subcontractors. Site excavation and home construction activities are physically demanding, exposing workers to risks from falls and heavy machinery and resulting in relatively high injury and fatality rates. Worker injuries and fatalities have internal and external costs that may significantly affect operations and an entity’s social licence to operate. Effects include fines, penalties, workers’ compensation costs, regulatory compliance costs from more stringent oversight, higher insurance premiums, and project delays and downtime. To avoid such costs, entities should foster a culture of safety with proactive safety management plans, employee and contractor training, and regular audits.
Design for Resource Efficiency
Residential buildings, when occupied, consume significant amounts of energy and water. Entities in the Home Builders industry can improve home resource efficiency through sustainable design practices and choice of materials. Energy-saving products and techniques such as designing homes for efficient heating and cooling may reduce energy dependence, whether it comes from the electric grid or onsite fuel combustion. Intended to improve home resource efficiency, these measures may decrease home ownership costs through lower utility bills. Water-saving features such as low-flow faucets alleviate stress in water-scarce communities, while likely also reducing homeowner costs. Homebuyer awareness of energy and water efficiency creates an opportunity for entities to increase target market demand, thereby increasing revenue or margins. Effectively applying resource efficiency design principles in a cost-effective manner may be a competitive advantage, especially when entities are successful in systematically educating customers on the long-term benefits of these homes.
Community Impacts of New Developments
Community and urban planning provide home builders with the opportunity to thoughtfully design new residential developments in ways that benefits customers as well as the surrounding community. New home development can bring economic growth and workforce opportunities while moderating cost-of-living increases, and it can provide communities with safe and vibrant neighbourhoods. Entities may strive to improve communities’ environmental and social impacts by providing access to public transportation or not overburdening existing transportation or utilities infrastructure, providing access to green spaces, developing mixed-use spaces, and creating more walkable communities. These strategies may increase the overall demand for and selling prices of homes as well as reduce the risks related to permitting and community or stakeholder opposition related to current or future developments. When entities use development strategies that inadequately integrate their new communities into the pre-existing surrounding communities, they may risk insufficient sales prices, excessive costs related to infrastructure needs and assessments, permitting delays or reduced community support for future developments.
Climate Change Adaptation
The impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events and changing climate patterns, may affect the markets entities select to develop homes and residential communities. Entities with business models that incorporate ongoing assessments of climate change risks, and adapt to such risks, are likely to grow entity value more effectively over the long term, partially through reductions in risk. More specifically, strategies focused on home development activities in floodplains and coastal regions exposed to extreme weather events, such as flooding, have increased the need to adapt to climate change, especially considering long-term challenges like flood insurance rates, the financial stability of government-subsidised flood insurance programs, permitting approvals and financing stipulations. Rising climate risks may translate into reduced long-term demand, land value depreciation and concerns over understated long-term costs of home ownership. Additionally, entities that build developments in water-stressed regions risk losing land value and may have problems getting permitting approvals. The active assessment of climate change risks and a holistic view of long-term homebuyer demand may enable entities to successfully adapt to such risks.