Containers & Packaging

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Containers and packaging industry entities convert raw materials including metal, plastic, paper and glass, into semi-finished or finished packaging products. Entities produce a wide range of products, including corrugated cardboard packaging, food and beverage containers, bottles for household products, aluminium cans, steel drums and other forms of packaging. Entities in the industry typically function as business-to-business entities and many operate globally.

Relevant Issues (8 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: Containers & Packaging

GHG Emissions
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    The Containers & Packaging industry generates direct (Scope 1) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in manufacturing and cogeneration processes. GHG emissions may result in regulatory compliance costs or penalties and operating risks for entities. However, the financial effects may vary depending on the magnitude of emissions and the prevailing emissions regulations. The industry may be subject to increasingly stringent regulations as countries try to limit or reduce emissions. Entities that cost-effectively manage GHG emissions through greater energy efficiency, the use of alternative fuels or manufacturing process advances could benefit from improved operating efficiency and reduced regulatory risk, among other financial benefits.
Air Quality
  • Air Quality

    In addition to greenhouse gases (GHGs), containers and packaging manufacturing may produce air emissions, which may include sulphur dioxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). As with GHGs, these emissions typically stem from fuel combustion to produce energy. Relative to other industries, the Containers & Packaging industry is a significant source of some of these emissions. Although related financial effects may vary depending on the magnitude of emissions and the prevailing regulations, entities face operating costs, regulatory compliance costs, regulatory penalties in the event of non-compliance and capital expenditures related to emissions management. As such, entities may manage the issue through technological process improvements or other strategies that can mitigate such impacts, improving financial performance and enhancing brand value.
Energy Management
  • Energy Management

    Containers and packaging manufacturing is energy-intensive, with energy used to power processing units, cogeneration plants, machinery and non-manufacturing facilities. The type of energy used, amount consumed and energy management strategies depend on the type of products manufactured. Typically, fossil fuels such as natural gas and biomass are the predominant form of energy used, while purchased electricity also may be a significant share. Therefore, energy purchases may be a significant share of production costs. An entity’s energy mix may include energy generated on site, purchased grid electricity and fossil fuels, and renewable and alternative energy. Trade-offs in the use of such energy sources include cost, reliability of supply, related water use and air emissions, and regulatory compliance and risk. As such, an entity’s energy intensity and energy sourcing decisions may affect its operating efficiency and risk profile over time.
Water & Wastewater Management
  • Water Management

    Containers and packaging manufacturing requires water for various stages of production including in raw materials processing, process cooling and steam generation at on site cogeneration plants. Long-term historical increases in water scarcity and cost, and expectations of continued increases—because of over-consumption and reduced supplies resulting from population growth and shifts, pollution and climate change—show the importance of water management. Water scarcity may result in a higher risk of operational disruption for entities with water-intensive operations, and can increase water procurement costs and capital expenditures. Meanwhile, containers and packaging manufacturing may generate process wastewater that must be treated before disposal. Non-compliance with water quality regulations may result in regulatory compliance and mitigation costs or legal expenses stemming from litigation. Reducing water use and consumption through increased efficiency and other water management strategies may result in lower operating costs over time and may mitigate financial effects of regulations, water supply shortages and community-related disruptions of operations.
Waste & Hazardous Materials Management
  • Waste Management

    Containers and packaging manufacturing may generate hazardous process waste which may include heavy metals, spent acids, catalysts and wastewater treatment sludge. Entities face regulatory and operational challenges in managing waste because some wastes are subject to regulations pertaining to its transport, treatment, storage and disposal. Waste management strategies include reduced generation, effective treatment and disposal, and recycling and recovery, if possible. Such activities, while requiring initial investment or operating costs, may reduce an entity’s long-term cost structure and mitigate the risk of remediation liabilities or regulatory penalties.
Product Quality & Safety
  • Product Safety

    Container and packaging product safety is a critical factor for the industry since many products are used in consumer-facing applications including in the food and healthcare industries. Aspects of packaging safety include physical hazards and the presence of potentially hazardous chemical substances. In the event of a product safety incident, products may be recalled or require redesign, possibly increasing costs to the manufacturer and resulting in reduced revenue and adverse impacts to brand value. As such, entities that proactively manage product safety risks may enhance their brand reputation and reduce adverse financial impacts.
Product Design & Lifecycle Management
  • Product Lifecycle Management

    Containers and packaging entities face opportunities and challenges associated with the potential environmental impacts of their products throughout their lifecycle. Designing products with reduced use-phase and end-of-life environmental impacts is an important opportunity for manufacturers. Demand for packaging produced with safer chemicals and using recycled and renewable materials continues to grow, along with demand for recyclable, reusable and compostable products. Although the lifecycle impact of products depends largely on their use and disposal, entities that effectively optimise such attributes during the design phase may gain a competitive advantage.
Supply Chain Management
  • Supply Chain Management

    Containers and packaging manufacturing uses large quantities of raw materials including wood fibre and aluminium. Sustainable production of these materials is an important supply chain consideration for entities in the industry because adverse environmental impacts could increase materials costs and affect the brand value of entities. To mitigate such risks, entities may implement supply chain vetting practices and implement third-party standards within internal operations and suppliers that certify that the materials were produced in a sustainable manner. Additionally, such actions may raise brand value and meet customer demand for sustainably produced packaging products, providing access to new markets and growth opportunities.

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Containers & Packaging
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