Green light for women on the boards of listed companies
In recent years, ESG has been mainly about “E”—environmental aspects, which were most often subject to regulation. Now there is increasing emphasis on social (S) and corporate governance (G). A noteworthy measure in governance is the EU’s Gender Balance Directive, which came into force at the end of 2022. The directive is intended to ensure more balanced representation of women and men among directors of listed companies.
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.
Challenges for renewables producers in 2023: Amendments to energy market rules
The end of last year abounded in new regulations in Poland governing the electricity market. There was also a lot of talk about the need to amend questionable regulations. But the changes are so numerous it is hard to predict their ultimate impact on the market and specific market participants. This is particularly evident in the case of generators of power from renewable energy sources benefiting from the auction support system.
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.
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.
EU regulations will force the eco-design of sustainable products
In late March, the European Commission published another package of proposals aimed at making the European Green Deal a reality. Some of the proposals relate to specific product categories, e.g. construction products and textiles, but there is also no shortage of proposals to make products more sustainable and environment-friendly.
Compensation for human rights violations in supply chains
Businesses are to be held legally accountable for failing to exercise due diligence to prevent human rights violations from occurring in their supply chains. On 23 February 2022, the European Commission published a long-awaited draft Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence.