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Hardware industry entities design and sell technology hardware products, including computers, consumer electronics, communications equipment, storage devices, components and peripherals. Many entities in the industry rely heavily upon the Electronic Manufacturing Services & Original Design Manufacturing (EMS & ODM) industry for manufacturing services. The industry is expected to continue to grow as technology use rapidly increases, especially among emerging market consumers.

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.

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: Hardware

Data Security
  • Product Security

    The hardware products and related software offered by entities in the Hardware industry may have vulnerabilities that expose consumers to data security threats. Therefore, hardware manufacturers must help ensure user data security. Such vulnerabilities may occur at any stage of a product lifecycle, including product design, the manufacturing supply chain, product distribution and the product’s use-phase. Entities in the industry unable to identify vulnerabilities may risk exposing consumer data to security threats and potentially eroding the trust of their customer base. Cybersecurity threats create both risks and opportunities for the Hardware industry, as effective product security may be a source of competitive advantage for entities, potentially increasing their sales and market share. Additionally, user concerns about data security and related government actions may also serve as revenue-generating opportunities for securing government contracts and providing security products.
Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Employee Diversity & Inclusion

    Greater workforce diversity is important for innovation since it helps entities understand the needs of a diverse and global customer base, which results in the ability to design desirable products and communicate with customers effectively. Entities unable to attract and retain diverse talent may risk losing market share to competitors that successfully employ a staff capable of recognising the needs of diverse populations and capturing demand from segments of the population that have been traditionally overlooked. Furthermore, entities perceived as being more representative of a diverse, global customer base may increase brand loyalty which also may be a source of competitive advantage. Entities successful in recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce also may achieve lower employee turnover rates, resulting in cost savings.
Product Design & Lifecycle Management
  • Product Lifecycle Management

    Entities in the Hardware industry face increasing challenges associated with environmental and social externalities attributed to product manufacturing, transport, use and disposal. Rapid obsolescence of hardware products may worsen these externalities. Entities are designing more products with the entire lifecycle in mind. Specific considerations include energy efficiency of products, hazardous material inputs, and designing for and facilitating safe end-of-life disposal and recycling. Entities that prioritise designing and manufacturing products with improved environmental and social impacts may avoid costs associated with externalities, and they may be more likely to grow consumer demand and market share, while eliminating potentially harmful materials. Furthermore, entities that minimise environmental and social externalities of products may be less exposed to increasing regulation and costs, such as those related to extended producer responsibility.
Supply Chain Management
  • Supply Chain Management

    Entities in the Hardware industry commonly have relatively narrow profit margins and remain competitive by relying on complex, global supply chains and outsourced production to electronics manufacturing services (EMS) entities. Because entities in the industry typically contract with suppliers in countries with lower direct costs, entities often manufacture products in countries that have limited labour regulations or enforcement protecting workers. Entities in the industry may have limited direct control over social and environmental standards in production, making management of this issue difficult. This dynamic may increase an entity’s exposure to reputational risks and impacts on short- and long-term costs and sales. Such effects may arise from increasing regulation and enforcement in response to high-profile safety or labour incidents, or through a shift in demand away from entities associated with such incidents. Entities that actively manage the impacts generated by the supply chain using supplier standards, monitoring and engagement may better protect shareholder value over the long term.
Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
  • Materials Sourcing

    Entities in the Hardware industry rely on numerous critical materials as important inputs for finished products. Many of these inputs have few or no available substitutes and often are sourced from only a few countries, many of which may be subject to geopolitical uncertainty. Other sustainability impacts related to climate change, land use, resource scarcity and conflict in regions where the industry’s supply chain operates are also increasingly shaping the industry’s ability to source materials. Additionally, increased competition for these materials because of growing global demand from other sectors may result in price increases and supply risks. The ability of entities to manage potential material shortages, supply disruptions, price volatility and reputational risks is made more difficult by the practice of commonly sourcing materials from supply chains that may lack transparency. Failure to effectively manage sourcing may constrain access to necessary materials, reduce margins, impair revenue growth or increase costs of capital.

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