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 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 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 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 Impacts
- 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 Practices
- Employee Health & Safety
- 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 ManagementThe category addresses management of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks within a company’s supply chain. It addresses issues associated with environmental and social externalities created by suppliers through their operational activities. Such issues include, but are not limited to, environmental responsibility, human rights, labour practices, and ethics and corruption. Management may involve screening, selection, monitoring, and engagement with suppliers on their environmental and social impacts. The category does not address the impacts of external factors – such as climate change and other environmental and social factors – on suppliers’ operations and/or on the availability and pricing of key resources, which is covered in a separate category.
- 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: Containers & Packaging
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Containers & Packaging industry generates direct (Scope 1) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in manufacturing and cogeneration processes. GHG emissions may result in regulatory compliance costs or penalties and operating risks for entities. However, the financial effects may vary depending on the magnitude of emissions and the prevailing emissions regulations. The industry may be subject to increasingly stringent regulations as countries try to limit or reduce emissions. Entities that cost-effectively manage GHG emissions through greater energy efficiency, the use of alternative fuels or manufacturing process advances could benefit from improved operating efficiency and reduced regulatory risk, among other financial benefits.
In addition to greenhouse gases (GHGs), containers and packaging manufacturing may produce air emissions, which may include sulphur dioxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). As with GHGs, these emissions typically stem from fuel combustion to produce energy. Relative to other industries, the Containers & Packaging industry is a significant source of some of these emissions. Although related financial effects may vary depending on the magnitude of emissions and the prevailing regulations, entities face operating costs, regulatory compliance costs, regulatory penalties in the event of non-compliance and capital expenditures related to emissions management. As such, entities may manage the issue through technological process improvements or other strategies that can mitigate such impacts, improving financial performance and enhancing brand value.
Containers and packaging manufacturing is energy-intensive, with energy used to power processing units, cogeneration plants, machinery and non-manufacturing facilities. The type of energy used, amount consumed and energy management strategies depend on the type of products manufactured. Typically, fossil fuels such as natural gas and biomass are the predominant form of energy used, while purchased electricity also may be a significant share. Therefore, energy purchases may be a significant share of production costs. An entity’s energy mix may include energy generated on site, purchased grid electricity and fossil fuels, and renewable and alternative energy. Trade-offs in the use of such energy sources include cost, reliability of supply, related water use and air emissions, and regulatory compliance and risk. As such, an entity’s energy intensity and energy sourcing decisions may affect its operating efficiency and risk profile over time.
Containers and packaging manufacturing requires water for various stages of production including in raw materials processing, process cooling and steam generation at on site cogeneration plants. Long-term historical increases in water scarcity and cost, and expectations of continued increases—because of over-consumption and reduced supplies resulting from population growth and shifts, pollution and climate change—show the importance of water management. Water scarcity may result in a higher risk of operational disruption for entities with water-intensive operations, and can increase water procurement costs and capital expenditures. Meanwhile, containers and packaging manufacturing may generate process wastewater that must be treated before disposal. Non-compliance with water quality regulations may result in regulatory compliance and mitigation costs or legal expenses stemming from litigation. Reducing water use and consumption through increased efficiency and other water management strategies may result in lower operating costs over time and may mitigate financial effects of regulations, water supply shortages and community-related disruptions of operations.
Containers and packaging manufacturing may generate hazardous process waste which may include heavy metals, spent acids, catalysts and wastewater treatment sludge. Entities face regulatory and operational challenges in managing waste because some wastes are subject to regulations pertaining to its transport, treatment, storage and disposal. Waste management strategies include reduced generation, effective treatment and disposal, and recycling and recovery, if possible. Such activities, while requiring initial investment or operating costs, may reduce an entity’s long-term cost structure and mitigate the risk of remediation liabilities or regulatory penalties.
Container and packaging product safety is a critical factor for the industry since many products are used in consumer-facing applications including in the food and healthcare industries. Aspects of packaging safety include physical hazards and the presence of potentially hazardous chemical substances. In the event of a product safety incident, products may be recalled or require redesign, possibly increasing costs to the manufacturer and resulting in reduced revenue and adverse impacts to brand value. As such, entities that proactively manage product safety risks may enhance their brand reputation and reduce adverse financial impacts.
Product Lifecycle Management
Containers and packaging entities face opportunities and challenges associated with the potential environmental impacts of their products throughout their lifecycle. Designing products with reduced use-phase and end-of-life environmental impacts is an important opportunity for manufacturers. Demand for packaging produced with safer chemicals and using recycled and renewable materials continues to grow, along with demand for recyclable, reusable and compostable products. Although the lifecycle impact of products depends largely on their use and disposal, entities that effectively optimise such attributes during the design phase may gain a competitive advantage.
Supply Chain Management
Containers and packaging manufacturing uses large quantities of raw materials including wood fibre and aluminium. Sustainable production of these materials is an important supply chain consideration for entities in the industry because adverse environmental impacts could increase materials costs and affect the brand value of entities. To mitigate such risks, entities may implement supply chain vetting practices and implement third-party standards within internal operations and suppliers that certify that the materials were produced in a sustainable manner. Additionally, such actions may raise brand value and meet customer demand for sustainably produced packaging products, providing access to new markets and growth opportunities.