Some thoughts on the compatibility of waste management with local zoning plans
The issue of the compatibility of a planned undertaking with the local zoning plan is complex, and some aspects of it have long raised questions. The problem is of great practical importance, and the approach of land-use authorities and the courts in a particular case often determines whether a development or certain activities can be carried out in a given area. This is particularly evident in the case of waste management projects.
Greenwashing: How to communicate without misleading?
In the face of the climate crisis, the interest in sustainability issues is growing. This increasingly brings the issue of greenwashing to the fore. “Greenwashing” refers to creation of a false impression among the public regarding the supposedly green practices applied by a business or the environmental benefits of its goods and services. Typically greenwashing is used to raise the attractiveness of goods or services in the eyes of prospective buyers, and thus to increase sales and attract customers. But sometimes the spread of misleading ecological messages is simply due to ignorance.
European Sustainability Reporting Standards
In November 2022, the leaves were falling from the trees to the rhythm of ESG. First, the European Parliament and then the Council of the European Union approved the draft Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. Then the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group submitted the first set of draft European Sustainability Reporting Standards to the European Commission.
PFAS: Pervasive forever chemicals
PFAS is a collective name for some 5,000 chemical compounds widely used in industry and everyday items. They have a harmful effect on the environment and human health. Recently, they have been the subject of intense research by the European Chemicals Agency and the US Environmental Protection Agency. This is reflected in the growing number of regulations restricting their use. However, awareness of the harmfulness of these compounds seems to remain low, as evidenced by the small number of court cases in this area.
The 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Law of the Sea presents new challenges for maritime management and marine environmental protection
10 December 2022 marked forty years since the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which culminated years of negotiations within the United Nations, was opened for signature. With rapidly changing geopolitical conditions, the development of technologies enabling the extraction of minerals from the seabed, the climate crisis, and the disappearance of biodiversity, the convention must meet the demands of the next decades of the 21st century.
(R)evolution in packaging
An end to the mass discarding of packaging and waste. Instead, recycling, refillable packaging, a deposit on plastic bottles and limits on disposable bags. Such changes are proposed in a new draft regulation of the European Commission. The changes are to be implemented gradually.
New sustainability reporting
The proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive is now on the EU legislative agenda. It would amend the existing reporting rules established by the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, which are a weakness of the current system. Ultimately, the new directive is intended to contribute to a fully sustainable European market.
New rules for liability for environmental crimes necessitate a review of compliance policies in companies
In a few days, the Act of 22 July 2022 Amending Certain Acts to Combat Environmental Offences will enter into force. It changes the rules of liability for commission of offences by corporate entities. Prosecutors in Poland will no longer have to obtain a conviction of a natural person affiliated with a corporate entity before pursuing criminal charges against the corporate entity. This removes the main practical obstacle which has made it extremely rate for law enforcement to seek to hold companies criminally liable. As a result of the changes, we expect a larger number of criminal proceedings against companies. Environmental compliance is a solution for reducing this risk.
Time for an ESG strategy
Two major proposals for ESG directives—the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)—are currently working their way through EU institutions. Soon, more and more companies will have to take environmental, social and governance issues into consideration in the course of their day-to-day operations if they wish to stay in business and remain competitive. It is high time for companies to develop and implement an ESG strategy.
EU proposes Regulation on nature restoration
In June 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for new legislative solutions to restore ecosystems and enhance biodiversity in Europe. This innovative set of provisions will require member states to design and implement specific measures to restore the damaged environment of the European Union.
New rules for waste management in ports
A government bill on port reception facilities for waste from ships (print no. 2223) was released in May 2022. The bill would implement into Polish law Directive (EU) 2019/883 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on port reception facilities for the delivery of waste from ships, and is intended to adapt Polish ports to global and local market requirements.
Will the proposed changes to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act improve the real estate development process?
A proposal to amend the regulations on issuance of project permits was released on 18 May 2022. The proposal is expected to streamline development procedures, primarily for issuing decisions on environmental conditions.