At John Good Group, we pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to driving sustainability. We consistently offer our perspectives on this critical journey through our Sustainability Newsletter, The Green News. In our fourth issue, we have focused on discussing new regulations, enforcement actions, and industry commitments that are influencing the path to sustainability.
Muryel Boulay’s Perspective on ESG Regulation Shifts
We find ourselves in an era where there’s a flurry of regulatory activities around emissions and nature conservation. These changes may significantly impact sectors like transport and freight.
The EU’s proactive approach towards decarbonisation and the introduction of Global ESG reporting standards through the ISSC are promising indicators. However, the varied level of enforcement has led to shifts in business behaviours, especially concerning the adherence to the green claim code.
Muryel Boulay is the owner and founder of B Otherwise, a consultancy service to help the positive impact businesses have on people, communities and the planet.
Emergence of New Rules for Climate and Nature Conservation
In recent times, the EU Parliament approved a crucial regulation, the nature restoration law, aiming to restore 20% of terrestrial and aquatic habitats by 2030. This, along with proposed plans for transport decarbonisation, which align with the EU’s ambitious goal for climate neutrality by 2050, is a beacon of hope.
However, the UK still has some ways to go in meeting its climate commitments.
Increased Enforcement and Scrutiny of Green Regulations
Businesses are witnessing increased scrutiny of their green claims, leading to some downplaying their environmental efforts. Industries such as aviation and water services are now compelled to ensure their practices do not jeopardise public health and the environment or face the risk of unlimited fines.
Harnessing the Power of Business Activism Beyond Regulations
Regulatory changes, while important, are insufficient alone. It is, therefore, more imperative than ever for the private sector to pledge its commitment to the People and the Planet. Initiatives leading the charge in this respect include the Better Business Act movement, Business Declares’ open letter to Stop Ecocide, and the UN Climate Champion’s 5 P’s Handbook.
Innovation in Sustainability
The emphasis on Electric Vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen as part of the energy transition away from fossil fuels underscores the role of innovation in sculpting a sustainable future. Promising developments like devices to capture greenhouse gases on the move are indicative of the innovative spirit that guides sustainability.
Positive Strides Towards a Sustainable Future
The march towards sustainability is fuelled by the dreams and innovations of many. Richard Branson’s goal to power the first transatlantic flight entirely with sustainable aviation fuel and the development of a new Alzheimer’s drug is a testament to this. Such advancements, combined with projects like building ‘bioswales’ to manage rainwater in urban settings, are inspiring markers of a more sustainable future.
Engaging Communities for Climate Action
To truly address the challenges of climate change, a holistic approach is necessary – one that involves not just businesses, but entire communities. In this issue, we’ve highlighted successful community efforts such as the Climate Action North initiative, which addresses the decline of pollinators. Engaging communities in these efforts can be a key factor in achieving lasting impact.
Understanding the Influence of Policy Changes
In the current climate, understanding and adapting to policy changes is crucial for businesses. With the UK government’s ban on plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds coming into full effect, it underlines the importance of remaining responsive to policy shifts. The regulatory environment is rapidly changing, and businesses must be ready to adapt accordingly.
Pursuing Sustainability in Supply Chains
In supply chains, sustainability is of increasing significance. Businesses are adopting practices such as renewable energy in shipping and advocating for transparency in supply chains to improve overall sustainability. This transformation in the logistics sector is both a response to consumer demand and a proactive measure to reduce environmental impact.
A Circular Economy
The shift towards a circular economy is yet another positive development in the sustainability journey. By adopting a circular approach, we are seeing initiatives that aim to keep products, equipment, and infrastructure in use for longer, reducing waste and resource consumption. The work of organisations such as The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is instrumental in leading the transition to a circular economy.
Green finance represents a unique opportunity to bridge the sustainability gap. With various green bonds and sustainability-linked loans on offer, green finance can help deliver the necessary funding to support sustainability efforts. The role of finance in supporting the transition to a more sustainable world is becoming increasingly clear and important.
The Road Ahead
Whilst we have made great strides in our sustainability journey, the road ahead is still long and full of challenges. However, with a collective commitment from businesses, regulatory bodies, and communities, we can continue to make progress towards a sustainable future. Through the Green News, we hope to inspire and inform on these vital topics.
Find out more about John Good Group’s planet-first approach and our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality.