In the year that the UK leaves the European Union under a premise of being able to shape its own rules and regulations for trade, one common question we are asked is the extent to which business needs to pay attention to new and emerging policy in the area of sustainability emerging from the EU and other parts of the world.
As the articles we have written for the February issue of our newsletter demonstrate, anyone expecting UK companies to diverge away from an emphasis on environmental and sustainability performance is likely to be disappointed.
In the areas of electronic and plastic waste we are likely to see new rules focused at improving the recovery of valuable materials and, in the case of plastics, reducing the consumption of non-recycled content in the course of 2020.
With the UK government having previously promised to match EU environment rules, there not only appears to be little scope for divergence but further change could be on the horizon as the EU writes its first Climate Law in March.
It’s not just policy which will keep up the pressure on business to improve their sustainability performance.
The focus on environmental, sustainability and governance reporting is putting investors under the spotlight to demonstrate their credentials in these areas. We are seeing unprecedented demand for advice on this front.
For firms looking to improve their ESG reporting or who are approaching it for the first time, we share some insight based on our client work about how to get it right.
Changing consumer preferences also continue to put pressure on the sustainability performance of businesses.
This is particularly evident in the fashion industry where demands for better transparency around the environmental impact of their international supply chains is causing brands and retailers to seek out new operating models.
So, regardless of our trading relationship with the EU, the imperative for every business in 2020 is clear: understanding the implications of and then adapting to this era of sustainability is critical to future commercial success.