Relevant Issues (4 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 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 Management
- 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
- Labor 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, labor 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 Behavior
- Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
- Critical Incident Risk Management
- Systemic Risk Management
Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Household & Personal Products
Water is vital to the Household & Personal Products industry, both as a coolant in manufacturing processes and as a main input for many of the industry’s products. Water is becoming a scarce resource around the world because of population growth and increasing consumption, rapid urbanisation, and declining supplies because of subsurface aquifer depletion, drought and climate change. Many entities in this industry have operations in regions of the world facing water scarcity. Without careful planning, entities could face increased costs or lose water access in these regions, which may be a risk to production. Having rigorous checks in place to ensure a steady supply of water to all factories, as well as investing in technology to increase water use efficiency, will help entities reduce water-related risks as water scarcity becomes an increasingly global issue.
Product Environmental, Health, and Safety Performance
The Household & Personal Products industry faces growing consumer and regulatory pressure over the use of chemicals of concern, which have been linked to negative environmental externalities and impacts on human health. Some of these chemicals include persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) substances and carcinogenic, mutagen, or teratogenic chemicals, all of which are under increased regulatory scrutiny. Isolating and determining causal channels for negative health and environmental impacts is difficult, which means there is often a significant lag between a product’s introduction to the market and the point at which regulation and/or public opinion causes entities in the industry to reformulate. Directives in the EU and legislation in the U.S. place restrictions on or suggest alternatives to the use of harmful chemicals within the industry. Separately, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. may secure greater regulatory power over chemicals used by the cosmetics industry, which would very likely result in higher costs for the Household & Personal Products industry. Large retailers have implemented programs to ban chemicals of concern in the products they sell, which is placing greater pressure on the industry. Entities that are able to anticipate the changing regulatory landscape and implement stricter processes and testing are more likely to gain a competitive advantage. Early adopters of innovations in green chemistry and the reduction of chemicals of concern may improve profitability by being better able to capture changing customer demand and avoiding regulatory burdens.
Packaging Lifecycle Management
The Household & Personal Products industry uses a large amount of materials for product packaging, which often constitutes a significant portion of entities’ expenses. In addition, packaging design, particularly packaging weight, has a direct impact on transportation expenses, which can be significant. At the same time, the industry is facing pressure from both consumers and large retail outlets to address the environmental characteristics of its packaging, as material extraction and waste contribute to environmental externalities. The sustainability performance of packaging depends largely on the type, use, and ultimate disposal of materials. However, entities that effectively manage the sustainability characteristics of their product packaging—including light-weighting of materials, the use of recycled content and recyclable materials, and the use of sustainably sourced materials—may be better positioned to capture shifting consumer demand and avoid (or mitigate the impacts of) regulation related to extended producer responsibility. By managing the sustainability of product packaging, entities can also potentially reduce input and transportation costs.
Environmental & Social Impacts of Palm Oil Supply Chain
Palm oil has increased in popularity as a cheap input for a wide range of goods in the Household & Personal Products industry, including cleaning products, candles and cosmetics. Palm oil harvesting in specific regions of the world may contribute to deforestation, GHG emissions and other environmental and social problems. If not sourced responsibly, palm oil materials contribute to environmental and social externalities that can present reputational and regulatory risks for entities. Furthermore, entities in this industry are exposed to the risk of supply chain disruptions, input price increases and reputational damage associated with environmental and social externalities from palm oil sourcing. Entities face pressure to track and responsibly source palm oil and ensure minimum working condition standards in the supply chain, because palm oil production often is associated with labour issues. Implementing sourcing standards can reduce these risks, as can product-design phase innovations to reduce dependence on controversial materials such as palm oil.