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
- Labour 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 BehaviourThe 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 behaviour, 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, resulting in increased regulatory scrutiny in many countries. Entities face reputational risks from providing access to user data to governments, which may raise concerns that governments may use the data to limit citizens’ freedoms. Entities may also face increased costs of compliance associated with the varying local laws or government demands related to censorship of culturally or politically sensitive material on websites. This issue may affect entity profitability through the loss of users and may influence entity decisions to enter, operate in, or exit specific markets.
Internet Media & Services entities are targets of growing data security threats from cyber-attacks, which may put customer information and an entity’s own data at risk. Inadequate data security threat prevention, detection and remediation may influence customer acquisition and retention and result in decreased market share or lower demand for the entity’s products or services. By identifying and addressing data security threats in a timely manner, entities may protect brand value and improve customer acquisition and retention. Furthermore, effective management may avoid significant expenses associated with data breaches, which are most commonly directed at recapturing users following a breach.
Employee Recruitment, Inclusion & Performance
Employees are important contributors to value creation in the Internet Media & Services industry. Recruiting qualified employees to fill these positions may be difficult. A shortage of technically skilled employees can create intense competition to acquire highly skilled employees globally, contributing to high employee turnover rates. Entities offer significant monetary and non-monetary benefits to improve employee engagement, retention and productivity. Initiatives to improve employee engagement and work-life balance might influence the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. Efforts to recruit and develop globally diverse talent pools may mitigate the talent shortage and improve the value of entity offerings. Greater workforce diversity is important for innovation, and it helps entities understand the needs of a 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 revenue on intellectual property (IP) protection, including acquiring patents and copyrights. Although IP protection is inherent to some entity business models and an important driver of innovation, entity IP practices may be a contentious social issue. Entities sometimes may acquire patents and other IP protection to restrict competition and innovation, particularly if they are dominant market players. Because of software complexity, its abstract nature, and increasing IP rights protection related to software, Internet Media & Services entities must navigate overlapping patent claims. As a result, entities in the industry with alleged patent violations may be subject to frequent litigation or increased regulatory scrutiny. Adverse legal or regulatory rulings related to antitrust and IP may expose Internet Media & Services entities to costly and lengthy litigations and potential monetary losses as a result. Such rulings also may affect an entity’s market share and pricing power if its patents or dominant position in important markets are challenged legally, with significant financial consequences. Therefore, entities that balance IP protection and its use to spur innovation while ensuring their IP management and other business practices do not unfairly restrict competition may reduce regulatory scrutiny and legal actions while protecting market value.