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 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 Privacy
- Data Security
- Access & Affordability
- Product Quality & Safety
- Customer Welfare
- Selling Practices & Product Labeling
- Labor 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 Behavior
- Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
- Critical Incident Risk Management
- Systemic Risk Management
Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Fuel Cells & Industrial Batteries
Manufacturing in the Fuel Cells & Industrial Batteries industry requires energy to power machines and cooling, ventilation, lighting and product-testing systems. Purchased electricity is a major share of the energy sources used in the industry and accounts for a notable proportion of the total cost of materials and value added. Various sustainability factors are increasing the cost of conventional electricity while making alternative sources cost-competitive. Energy efficiency efforts may have a significant positive impact on operational efficiency and profitability, especially because many entities operate on relatively low or negative margins. By improving manufacturing process efficiency and exploring alternative energy sources, fuel cell and industrial battery entities may reduce both their indirect environmental impacts and their operating expenses.
Workforce Health & Safety
Fuel cell and industrial battery manufacturing workers may be exposed to hazardous substances or workplace accidents that can have chronic or acute health impacts. Entities could face litigation as a result of injuries or chronic health impacts from working in fuel cell and battery manufacturing or recycling facilities. Entities that develop and implement strong safety processes and internal controls, including through providing health and safety training, protective gear, improved ventilation, and regular health monitoring, can improve workforce health and safety performance and mitigate regulatory and litigation risks.
Both customer demand and regulatory requirements are driving innovation in energy-efficient products with lower environmental impacts and lower total cost of ownership. Therefore, research and development in the Fuel Cells & Industrial Batteries industry that drive energy and thermal efficiency and enhance storage capacities may lower barriers to adoption. Advances in battery technology to increase storage capabilities and improve charging efficiencies, while reducing costs for customers, are critical for the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid. Pressured by stricter environmental regulations, high energy costs and customer preferences, fuel cell and industrial battery manufacturers that improve efficiency in the use phase may increase revenue and market share.
Product End-of-life Management
As the rate of adoption for fuel cells and industrial batteries increases and more products reach their end of life, designing products to facilitate end-of-life management and maximise materials efficiency is likely to become increasingly important. Fuel cells and batteries may contain hazardous substances, which must be properly disposed of as they can pose human health or environmental risks. The emergence of several laws regarding the end-of-life phase of batteries has recently heightened the importance of the issue, creating potential added costs of managing risks, as well as opportunities, through regulatory incentives. Effective design for disassembly and reuse or recycling will be a key element for increasing recovery rates in order to reduce the lifecycle impacts of fuel cells and batteries. Furthermore, given the input price volatility and resource constraints of some raw materials, fuel cell and industrial battery entities that are able to develop take-back and recycling systems and reuse recovered materials in manufacturing may increase their long-term operational efficiency and improve their risk profile.
Manufacturing certain types of industrial batteries and fuel cells requires an available supply of materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and platinum. Access to these materials is critical for the continuous development and scaling of clean energy technologies like fuel cells and industrial batteries. Limited global resources of these critical materials, as well as their concentration in countries that may have relatively limited governance and regulatory structures or are subject to geopolitical tensions, expose entities to the risk of supply-chain disruptions and input-price increases or volatility. At the same time, competition from other industries that utilise the same critical materials and/or employ fuel cell and battery technologies is likely to exacerbate supply risks. Fuel cell and industrial battery entities with strong supply-chain standards and the ability to adapt to increasing resource scarcity will be better positioned to protect shareholder value. Entities that are able to limit the use of critical materials, and to secure their supply of the materials they do use, can mitigate potential financial impacts due to supply disruptions, volatile input prices, and reputational and regulatory risks.