Relevant Issues (5 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 ManagementThe 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 PrivacyThe category addresses management of risks related to the use of personally identifiable information (PII) and other customer or user data for secondary purposes including but not limited to marketing through affiliates and non-affiliates. The scope of the category includes social issues that may arise from a company’s approach to collecting data, obtaining consent (e.g., opt-in policies), managing user and customer expectations regarding how their data is used, and managing evolving regulation. It excludes social issues arising from cybersecurity risks, which are covered in a separate category.
Data SecurityThe category addresses management of risks related to collection, retention, and use of sensitive, confidential, and/or proprietary customer or user data. It includes social issues that may arise from incidents such as data breaches in which personally identifiable information (PII) and other user or customer data may be exposed. It addresses a company’s strategy, policies, and practices related to IT infrastructure, staff training, record keeping, cooperation with law enforcement, and other mechanisms used to ensure security of customer or user data.
- Access & Affordability
- Product Quality & Safety
- Customer Welfare
- Selling Practices & Product Labeling
- Labor Practices
- Employee Health & Safety
Employee Engagement, Diversity & InclusionThe category addresses a company’s ability to ensure that its culture and hiring and promotion practices embrace the building of a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the makeup of local talent pools and its customer base. It addresses the issues of discriminatory practices on the bases of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors.
Business Model and Innovation
- Product Design & Lifecycle Management
- Business Model Resilience
- Supply Chain Management
- Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
- Physical Impacts of Climate Change
Leadership and Governance
- Business Ethics
Competitive BehaviorThe 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
Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Internet Media & Services
Environmental Footprint of Hardware Infrastructure
With the Internet & Media Services industry providing a growing amount of content and service offerings, entities in this industry increasingly own, operate or rent more data centres and other hardware. Thus, managing the energy and water use associated with IT hardware infrastructure is relevant to value creation. Data centres must be powered continuously. Energy supply disruptions may have a material impact on operations depending on the disruption magnitude and timing. Entities face a trade-off between energy and water consumption because of data centre cooling needs. Cooling data centres with water instead of chillers improves energy efficiency, but this method may create dependence on significant local water resources. Data centre specification decisions are important for managing costs, obtaining a reliable energy and water supply, and reducing reputational risks, particularly with the increasing global regulatory focus on climate change and the opportunities arising from energy efficiency and renewable energy innovations.
Data Privacy, Advertising Standards & Freedom of Expression
Entities in the Internet & Media Services industry rely on customer data to innovate new tools and services, generate revenues through advertising sales, and track and prevent criminal activities, such as hacking and online predators targeting children. However, the use and storage of a wide range of customer data, such as personal, demographic, content, and behavioural data, raises privacy concerns, leading to increased regulatory scrutiny in many countries around the world. Entities face reputational risks from providing access to user data to governments, which raises concerns that the data may be used to limit the freedoms of citizens. This issue has impacts on entity profitability through the loss of users and can influence decisions to enter or operate in certain markets.
Entities in the Internet Media & Services industry are subject to a large and growing number of cyber attacks and social engineering threats, which puts customer information and an entity's own data at risk. Inadequate prevention, detection, and remediation of data security threats can influence customer acquisition and retention and result in decreased market share and lower demand for the entity’s products and/or services. By identifying and addressing data security threats in a timely manner entities can protect brand value and will be better positioned for customer acquisition and retention. Furthermore, effective management can avoid significant expenses associated with data breaches—most commonly directed at recapturing users following a breach.
Employee Recruitment, Inclusion & Performance
Employees are key contributors to value creation in the Internet Media & Services industry. While the number of job openings in the industry continues to grow, entities are finding it difficult to recruit qualified employees to fill these positions. The shortage in technically skilled domestic employees has created intense competition to acquire highly skilled employees, contributing to high employee turnover rates. In response to talent shortages, entities are hiring foreign nationals, which creates risks related to perceived social implications in the host and home countries of workers. Entities offer significant monetary and non-monetary benefits in order to improve employee engagement and, therefore, retention and productivity increase. Initiatives to improve employee engagement and work-life balance might influence the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. As the industry is characterised by relatively low representation from women and minority groups, efforts to recruit from and develop diverse talent pools can serve to address the talent shortage and generally to improve the value of entity offerings. Greater workforce diversity is important for innovation, and it helps entities understand the needs of their diverse and global customer base.
Intellectual Property Protection & Competitive Behaviour
Despite the openness of the Internet, entities in the Internet Media & Services industry spend a significant proportion of their revenues on intellectual property (IP) protection, including acquiring patents and copyrights. While IP protection is inherent to the business model of some entities in the industry and is an important driver of innovation, the IP practices of entities can be a contentious societal issue. Entities could sometimes acquire patents and other IP protection to restrict competition and access to benefits from innovation, particularly if they are dominant market players. Due to the complexity of software, its abstract nature, and increasing IP rights protection related to software, Internet Media & Services entities have to navigate overlapping patent claims to be able to operate. As a result, entities in the industry may find themselves constantly in litigation or subject to regulatory scrutiny either due to allegations of patent violations if they engage in unethical business practices, or are perceived as doing so, or because they are suing others for IP infringement. Adverse legal or regulatory rulings related to antitrust and IP can expose internet media and services entities to costly and lengthy litigations and potential monetary losses as a result. Such rulings may also affect an entity’s market share and pricing power if its patents or dominant position in key markets are legally challenged, with significant impact on revenue. Therefore, entities that can balance the protection of their IP and its use to spur innovation with ensuring their IP management and other business practices do not unfairly restrict competition, have the potential to lower regulatory scrutiny and legal actions while protecting their market value.