Relevant Issues (8 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 Quality
- Energy Management
Water & Wastewater ManagementThe category addresses a company’s water use, water consumption, wastewater generation, and other impacts of operations on water resources, which may be influenced by regional differences in the availability and quality of and competition for water resources. More specifically, it addresses management strategies including, but not limited to, water efficiency, intensity, and recycling. Lastly, the category also addresses management of wastewater treatment and discharge, including groundwater and aquifer pollution.
Waste & Hazardous Materials ManagementThe category addresses environmental issues associated with hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated by companies. It addresses a company’s management of solid wastes in manufacturing, agriculture, and other industrial processes. It covers treatment, handling, storage, disposal, and regulatory compliance. The category does not cover emissions to air or wastewater nor does it cover waste from end-of-life of products, which are addressed in separate categories.
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 Management
- Business Model Resilience
- Supply Chain Management
- Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
- Physical Impacts of Climate Change
Leadership and Governance
Business EthicsThe category addresses the company’s approach to managing risks and opportunities surrounding ethical conduct of business, including fraud, corruption, bribery and facilitation payments, fiduciary responsibilities, and other behaviour that may have an ethical component. This includes sensitivity to business norms and standards as they shift over time, jurisdiction, and culture. It addresses the company’s ability to provide services that satisfy the highest professional and ethical standards of the industry, which means to avoid conflicts of interest, misrepresentation, bias, and negligence through training employees adequately and implementing policies and procedures to ensure employees provide services free from bias and error.
- Competitive Behaviour
Management of the Legal & Regulatory EnvironmentThe category addresses a company’s approach to engaging with regulators in cases where conflicting corporate and public interests may have the potential for long-term adverse direct or indirect environmental and social impacts. The category addresses a company’s level of reliance upon regulatory policy or monetary incentives (such as subsidies and taxes), actions to influence industry policy (such as through lobbying), overall reliance on a favorable regulatory environment for business competitiveness, and ability to comply with relevant regulations. It may relate to the alignment of management and investor views of regulatory engagement and compliance at large.
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: Oil & Gas – Services
Emissions Reduction Services & Fuels Management
Although direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and associated regulatory risks are relatively low for Oil & Gas - Services providers relative to other industries, emissions from the operations of their customers—the Exploration & Production (E&P) entities—can be significant. Emissions include GHGs that can contribute to climate change as well as other air pollutants that can have significant localised human health and environmental impacts. Increasing regulation and high costs of fuels associated with these emissions present substantial risk to E&P entities. Entities are seeking ways to lower their emissions, including converting pumps and engines to run on natural gas and electricity instead of diesel fuel. Oil & Gas - Services entities compete for contracts partly based on providing innovative, efficient technologies that can help E&P entities reduce operating costs and improve process efficiencies. Services entities can gain a competitive advantage, grow revenue and secure market share by providing customers with services and equipment to reduce GHG, fugitive and flared emissions and fuel consumption.
Water Management Services
Oil and gas development often requires large quantities of water, exposing producers to the risks of water scarcity, water use regulations and related cost increases, particularly in water-stressed regions. Producers also must manage wastewater disposal risks and costs. As such, service entities that develop superior technologies and processes, such as closed-loop water recycling systems to reduce customers’ water consumption and disposal costs, may gain market share and increase revenue, because drilling and wastewater management can be a significant competitive factor for their customers.
Oil & Gas – Services entities produce oilfield chemicals as well as drilling and hydraulic fracturing fluids based on demand from Exploration & Production (E&P) entities. Although leaks from a properly drilled and completed well are rare, contamination of local water resources can result from contact with hydraulic fracturing fluids and produced water. Contamination may arise from issues related to poor well integrity. Public concerns about some chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids have, in some regions, resulted in fracturing bans, legislative proposals and other regulations to mandate disclosure of chemicals used. The precise chemical composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids is often proprietary, and entities compete to create the most effective formulas. Because of public and regulatory attention to the potential hazards of drilling fluids, entities that effectively manage well development and asset integrity issues, the production and use of non-hazardous fracking fluids, and the per well reduction of drilling fluid volumes, may increase their market share, grow revenues and reduce the regulatory risk affecting their products.
Ecological Impact Management
Oil and gas exploration and development activities and associated services and support activities can have significant impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems. Entities operating sites in ecologically sensitive areas or that are resource-intensive operations must effectively manage the disposal of drilling and associated wastes, well decommissioning, land use, and potential fuel spills. Producers face regulatory risks and permitting barriers to protect ecosystems from potential issues related to site development, drilling, underground waste injection, well decommissioning and site remediation. Entities that offer cost-effective, efficient production and decommissioning technologies that mitigate biodiversity impacts by reducing land use, drilling wastes and spills can decrease the associated risks for their customers and gain a competitive advantage.
Workforce Health & Safety
Workers in the Oil & Gas – Services industry may face significant health and safety risks related to the harsh working environments and handling potentially volatile hydrocarbons and hazardous wastes. In addition to acute impacts resulting from accidents, workers may develop chronic health conditions, such as those caused by silica or dust inhalation, as well as mental health problems. A significant proportion of the workforce at oil and gas drilling sites consists of temporary workers and employees of entities in the Oil & Gas – Services industry. Health impacts on, and the safety performance of, such workers can affect entities directly by adversely affecting worker productivity and increasing costs. Entities compete based on their reputation and ability to perform activities consistently and safely. Customers evaluate accidents, spills, injuries and fatalities as important factors in awarding contracts to entities.
Business Ethics & Payments Transparency
With operations around the world, entities in the Oil & Gas – Services industry interact with many government and local officials, either directly or through agents, to secure contracts with state-owned oil entities and multinational corporations. Bribery, corruption and the transparency of payments to governments may be significant issues, depending on the region and jurisdiction. Anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and payments transparency laws and initiatives create regulatory mechanisms to reduce the risk of misconduct. Violations of these could result in significant one-time costs or higher compliance costs, whereas successful compliance with such regulations could avoid adverse outcomes. Entities are under pressure to ensure their governance structures and practices can monitor and manage the risks associated with corruption, wilful or unintentional participation in illegal or unethical payments, or with gifts to government officials or private individuals.
Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
The Oil & Gas – Services industry is subject to numerous sustainability-related regulations and a rapidly changing regulatory environment. Entities in the industry regularly participate in the regulatory and legislative process on a wide variety of environmental and societal issues, and they may do so directly or through representation by an industry association. Entities may participate in these processes to ensure industry views are represented in the development of regulations affecting the industry, as well as to represent shareholder interests. However, such attempts to influence environmental laws and regulations may have an adverse effect on entities’ reputations with stakeholders and ultimately affect the entity’s social licence to operate. Entities that can balance these tensions may be better positioned to respond to medium-to-long-term regulatory developments.
Critical Incident Risk Management
Entities in the Oil & Gas – Services industry are subject to significant risks associated with low-probability, high-consequence events associated with oil and gas exploration, development and production activities. Such events may result in multiple fatalities, significant property damage or significant adverse effects on the environment. Entities may be affected indirectly through safety incidents or emergencies affecting their Exploration & Production (E&P) industry clients. Significant incidents can have wide-ranging negative social and environmental consequences, for which both E&P and Services entities may be held liable. Entities compete based on their reputation and ability to perform activities on a consistently safe basis. In addition to effective process safety management practices, many entities prioritise developing a strong culture of safety to reduce the probability of accidents and other health and safety incidents. If accidents and other emergencies do occur, entities with a strong safety culture are often able to detect and respond to such incidents more effectively. A culture that engages and empowers employees and contractors to work with management and entities in the E&P industry to safeguard their own health, safety and well-being, and to prevent accidents, is likely to help entities reduce risks to their financial value.