Relevant Issues (7 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 EmissionsThe 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 QualityThe 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 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 & SafetyThe category addresses issues involving unintended characteristics of products sold or services provided that may create health or safety risks to end-users. It addresses a company’s ability to offer manufactured products and/or services that meet customer expectations with respect to their health and safety characteristics. It includes, but is not limited to, issues involving liability, management of recalls and market withdrawals, product testing, and chemicals/content/ingredient management in products.
- Customer Welfare
- Selling Practices & Product Labeling
Labour PracticesThe category addresses the company’s ability to uphold commonly accepted labour standards in the workplace, including compliance with labour laws and internationally accepted norms and standards. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring basic human rights related to child labour, forced or bonded labour, exploitative labour, fair wages and overtime pay, and other basic workers’ rights. It also includes minimum wage policies and provision of benefits, which may influence how a workforce is attracted, retained, and motivated. The category further addresses a company’s relationship with organized labour and freedom of association.
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 Management
- Business Model Resilience
- 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 ManagementThe 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
Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Cruise Lines
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Cruise lines generate emissions mainly from the combustion of diesel in ship engines. The industry’s reliance on heavy fuel oil (‘bunker fuel’) is of material concern because of rising fuel costs and intensifying greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations. Evolving environmental regulations are encouraging the adoption of more fuel-efficient engines, engine retrofits and the use of cleaner-burning fuels. Fuel constitutes a major expense for industry players, providing a further incentive for investing in upgrades or retrofits to boost fuel efficiency. In addition, GHG regulation violations may result in fines and compliance costs.
Fuel use on cruise lines generates air pollutants such as sulphur oxides (SO?), nitrogen oxides (NO?) and particulate matter (PM10). These pollutants can have localised environmental and health impacts and are of particular concern at port cities and other restricted areas where entities may be penalised for exceeding emissions limits. Entities can manage these risks by commissioning more energy-efficient vessels, retrofitting existing fleets and using onshore power if it is available at ports.
Discharge Management & Ecological Impacts
Cruise holidays offer access to undeveloped ocean waters and destinations with marine protected areas or areas with protected conservation status. Cruise ships, associated with large vessels, rapid influxes of tourists, intensive resource consumption and high waste generation, can be particularly damaging to ecosystems in which they travel and operate. Cruise ships discharge many types of treated and untreated wastewater at sea and non-degradable solid wastes on land. Careful management of ship discharge and the mitigation of cruise line ecological impacts may maintain shipping access to ports and preserve the natural beauty guests wish to experience, both of which are essential for entities to maintain market share as well as attract new customers.
Customer Health & Safety
Cruise lines offer a variety of luxury experiences and activities to their customers, including elabourate shows, casinos, fine dining, indoor skydiving, spa treatments, swimming and fitness facilities. Each activity comes with its own set of health risks, safety challenges and liabilities that entities must navigate. Consumer expectations for safety and comfort are high, so avoiding health and physical safety risks is especially important for entities’ viability. Publicised cases of crimes, injuries and illnesses onboard cruise ships may have serious repercussions on brand value and ticket sales. Customer lawsuits may also result in high incremental legal costs. Although cruise ship crime rates are low when compared to crime rates in most developed countries, law enforcement is much more difficult to navigate, and cases are not as easy to resolve since ships commonly take passengers to international waters and fly a foreign flag, leading to uncertainty about which jurisdictions are responsible for law enforcement. Entities can protect customer health and safety by implementing a robust safety management system.
Cruise lines employ thousands of workers onboard each large vessel. Ships may register in countries where labour laws related to pay, working hours, fair treatment and termination may be flexible. Ship crews are multinational, and many are hired on a contract basis. Crews often work long hours for many months residing in shared quarters, which can make recuperation difficult. Some entities offer a gratuity-based wage structure to reduce payroll costs. Language barriers, the complexity of flag state laws and the laws in workers’ home countries may make labour law violation charges difficult for workers to file. Low morale among workers may impair their ability to meet customer service expectations, potentially reducing an entity’s revenues and market share over the long term.
Workforce Health & Safety
Entities in the Cruise Lines industry operate a unique service that requires them to provide safety oversight comparable to a small city, including addressing all medical and security needs. A commitment to providing a clean and sanitary environment on board is important for protecting crew health, which can affect productivity and morale as well as customer health, and thus an entity’s reputation and market share. Additionally, several governing bodies—including the flag state, port state and home country of a crew member—may be involved in both providing and enforcing industry safety regulations. This regulatory mix may create confusion regarding the protections afforded to crew members. Entities that fail to protect crew health and safety may also experience higher employee turnover and difficulties with employee recruitment and retention.
Although cruise ships are one of the safest forms of travel for holidays, the industry competes on customer experience and satisfaction, making safety management a top priority. Given the scale of cruise vessels and the vulnerability of passengers at sea, one mismanaged accident may significantly reduce consumer confidence in an entity. Although major accidents are rare, they may affect not only an entity’s revenue and brand value, but those of the entire Cruise Lines industry. Proper equipment maintenance, staff training and implementation of the latest safety technologies and practices may protect an entity’s safety record and ensure high customer satisfaction while lowering an entity’s risk profile and cost of capital.