Relevant Issues (3 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 Impacts
- 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 Resilience
- Supply Chain Management
Materials Sourcing & EfficiencyThe category addresses issues related to the resilience of materials supply chains to impacts of climate change and other external environmental and social factors. It captures the impacts of such external factors on operational activity of suppliers, which can further affect availability and pricing of key resources. It addresses a company’s ability to manage these risks through product design, manufacturing, and end-of-life management, such as by using of recycled and renewable materials, reducing the use of key materials (dematerialization), maximizing resource efficiency in manufacturing, and making R&D investments in substitute materials. Additionally, companies can manage these issues by screening, selection, monitoring, and engagement with suppliers to ensure their resilience to external risks. It does not address issues associated with environmental and social externalities created by operational activity of individual suppliers, which is covered in a separate category.
- 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: Wind Technology & Project Developers
Workforce Health & Safety
Many wind turbine manufacturers offer operations and maintenance (O&M) services for wind farm owners or operators together with product sales. These activities may include installation, maintenance, monitoring and repairing turbine installations. The wind farm O&M segment maintains a high safety standard because the work is inherently hazardous. Hazards include physical hazards such as falls from heights and moving mechanical parts, as well as electrical hazards. The quality of O&M services therefore is critical for the safety of wind farm operations, with the potential to affect entity reputations and demand for products and services. Operational downtime and effects on wind farm insurance costs because of accidents may add to wind farm operating costs. Wind farm owners or developers therefore may consider turbine and service provider safety records in requests for tender. Entities that improve turbine and O&M safety may reduce operating costs and extraordinary expenses.
Ecological Impacts of Project Development
Wind farm development involves siting, land acquisition, permitting and engagement with local stakeholders to manage environmental and community impacts. Offshore developments may affect the marine ecosystem, and both on and offshore wind farms may have adverse effects on local animal populations, some of which may be endangered. Obtaining environmental and construction permits for projects may be delayed or prevented if regulators or community members have concerns about the ecological impacts of the development. Wind project approval directly affects equipment manufacturers through demand for turbines. Although manufacturers typically do not control the project approval process, research and development investments may minimise ecological impacts, resulting in long-term benefits. These measures could facilitate project approvals and give wind technology manufacturers a competitive advantage, potentially increasing their market share over time.
Wind technology entities source materials from global supply chains for use in turbines, including critical materials, such as neodymium and dysprosium, and critical minerals including tantalum and tungsten. Materials sourcing risks result from a low substitution ratio, the concentration of deposits in a few countries, geopolitical considerations, and competition from other industries. Direct drive turbines, which increasingly are being used for reliability, may require significantly more critical materials than more traditional drive trains. Entities may minimise negative externalities and protect themselves from related input cost volatility and supply constraints by creating transparent supply chains, sourcing materials from reliable suppliers or regions that have minimal environmental or social risks associated with them, supporting research into alternative inputs, and reducing reliance on these materials.
The Wind Technology & Project Developers industry’s long-term success depends on producing energy at a comparatively lower cost than other energy sources. Steel and other materials purchases are one of the largest costs of turbines, and inputs such as steel have exhibited price volatility in the past. In recent years, wind turbines have grown in size, in terms of both the tower height and the swept area of the rotor, to improve energy output and increase the potential for wind energy production in more areas. To achieve this expansion cost-effectively, entities may employ innovative methods to increase turbine output while using materials more efficiently. Increased output and efficiency could influence entities’ competitiveness and market share, costs of production, and operational risks related to the supply and price volatility of raw materials, as well as the ability of the entity to scale.