Alcoholic Beverages

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Alcoholic Beverages industry entities brew, distil and manufacture various alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and liquor. Entities in this industry transform agricultural products including sugar, barley and corn, into finished alcoholic beverages. The largest entities have global operations with portfolios of man branded products. Levels of vertical integration within the industry vary because of regulation in different markets. Breweries generally have multiple manufacturing facilities to provide access to different markets, while vintners and distillers typically are located where they have a history of production.

Relevant Issues (6 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.

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Alcoholic Beverages

Energy Management
  • Energy Management

    Entities in the Alcoholic Beverages industry rely on both fuel and purchased electricity as critical inputs. Fossil fuel and electrical energy consumption can contribute to negative environmental impacts, including climate change and pollution. These impacts have the potential to affect the value of entities in this industry since greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulations and new incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy could result in increased fossil fuels and conventional electricity price volatility, while making alternative sources more cost-competitive. Entities that manage for increased energy efficiency and use alternative energy sources may increase profitability by reducing both expenses and risks.
Water & Wastewater Management
  • Water Management

    Water management includes an entity’s direct water use, exposure to water scarcity and management of wastewater. Entities in the Alcoholic Beverages industry use a large amount of water in their operations, since water is a key input for their finished products. Given alcoholic beverage entities’ heavy reliance on large volumes of clean water and water scarcity is increasing in different regions globally, entities may be exposed to supply disruptions that could significantly impact operations and increase costs. Entities operating in water-stressed regions that fail to address local water concerns may risk losing their social license to operate. Improving water management through increased efficiency and recycling, particularly in regions with baseline water stress, can result in lower operating costs, reduced risks and higher intangible asset value.
Selling Practices & Product Labeling
  • Responsible Drinking & Marketing

    The irresponsible consumption of alcoholic beverages can lead to negative social externalities such as drunk driving, addiction, underage drinking, death and many other public health issues. Every year, alcohol consumption contributes to millions of deaths worldwide, including a sizeable proportion of underage youth and young adults. The harmful use of alcohol presents an acute concern in countries that lack strong laws to protect against alcohol’s detrimental effects. Entities may be required to internalise the costs of these social externalities through taxes, lawsuits, or reputational harm, which can have substantial financial consequences. Failing to effectively manage social externalities may result in unfavourable regulation and impair the entity’s social licence to operate. Through education, engagement, community partnerships and responsible marketing, particularly to underage individuals, entities can address and mitigate many of the social externalities associated with alcohol misuse. Entities that effectively manage this issue can reduce the likelihood of extraordinary expenses, improve market share and decrease liabilities.
Product Design & Lifecycle Management
  • Packaging Lifecycle Management

    Packaging materials represent a significant cost to entities in the Alcoholic Beverages industry. Although many alcoholic beverage entities do not manufacture their own bottles and packaging, they face reputational risks associated with the negative externalities that their products’ containers are associated with over their lifecycle. Entities are also directly affected by legislation regarding end-of-life management of beverage containers. Alcoholic beverage entities can work with packaging manufacturers on packaging design to generate cost savings, improve brand reputation and reduce the environmental impact of packaging. Efforts to reduce the amount of material used in packaging can reduce transportation costs, exposure to supply and price volatility and the amount of virgin material extracted for manufacturing. In the end-of-life phase, take-back and recycling programmes and partnerships can meet regulations, help achieve cost savings and reduce environmental impacts. Entities that effectively manage this issue can improve profitability and reduce the cost of capital.
Supply Chain Management
  • Environmental & Social Impacts of Ingredient Supply Chain

    Entities in the Alcoholic Beverages industry manage global supply chains to source a wide range of ingredient inputs. How entities screen, monitor and engage with suppliers on environmental and social topics affects entities’ ability to secure supply and manage price fluctuations. Supply chain interruption can cause loss of revenue and negatively impact market share if entities are unable to find alternatives for key suppliers or must source ingredients at a higher cost. Supply chain management issues related to labour practices, environmental responsibility, ethics or corruption may also result in regulatory fines or increased long-term operational costs. The consumer-facing nature of the industry increases the reputational risks associated with supplier actions. Managing an entity’s exposure to environmental and social risks may improve supply chain resiliency and enhance an entity’s reputation. Entities can engage with key suppliers to manage environmental and social risks to improve supply chain resiliency, mitigate reputational risks and potentially increase consumer demand or capture new market opportunities.
Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
  • Ingredient Sourcing

    Entities in the Alcoholic Beverages industry source a wide range of ingredients, largely agricultural inputs, from suppliers worldwide. The industry’s ability to source ingredients fluctuates with supply availability, which may be affected by climate change, water scarcity, land management and other resource scarcity considerations. This exposure can result in price volatility and can affect entity profitability. Ultimately, climate change, water scarcity and land-use restriction present risks to an entity’s long-term ability to source key materials and ingredients. Entities that source ingredients that are more productive, effectively cultivated and less resource-intensive, or those that work closely with suppliers to increase their adaptability to climate change and manage exposure to other resource scarcity risks may reduce price volatility or supply disruptions.

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Alcoholic Beverages
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