2024 Climate Compliance Essentials for UK Businesses

2024 Climate Compliance Essentials for UK Businesses

As we step into 2024, the urgency for climate action is more pronounced than ever. For businesses in the UK, staying ahead of the curve isn't just about corporate responsibility; it's about being prepared for the evolving landscape of climate legislation. At Net Zero Now, we specialise in guiding businesses towards net zero and beyond, ensuring compliance with current and upcoming regulations. 

Is environmental reporting mandatory in the UK?

In the UK, environmental reporting has become increasingly mandatory, especially for larger businesses. Key regulations such as the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) framework require qualifying companies to disclose their energy use and carbon emissions. Additionally, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) mandates climate-related financial information disclosure for major organisations. These requirements reflect the UK's commitment to transparency and action in the face of climate change. While not all businesses are subject to mandatory reporting, the trend towards greater environmental accountability is growing, and voluntary reporting is encouraged for all businesses as a best practice.

For further insights on the significance of carbon reporting, explore our partner TechUK's article, 'Why Tracking Your Tech Emissions Matters in 2024’.

2024 Key Sustainability Regulations

Here are key areas your business should focus on this year in order to stay ahead of the curve with sustainability reporting:

GHG Reporting: The Foundation of Climate Strategy

  • What Is It? GHG Reporting involves the measurement and reporting of your company's greenhouse gas emissions. It's a critical tool for understanding your environmental impact and forming the basis of any effective climate strategy.
  • For Whom? All businesses seeking to understand and manage their carbon footprint.
  • Deadline & Importance: Ongoing. Regular GHG reporting is essential for identifying emission hotspots and developing strategies for reduction. It forms the basis of any robust climate action plan.
  • Our Role: While we offer comprehensive GHG reporting services, our primary goal is to help you understand your emissions landscape and identify key areas for improvement.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR): Mandatory for Many

  • What Is It? SECR is a UK regulatory requirement that mandates certain businesses to report their energy use and carbon emissions, along with related actions.
  • For Whom? UK companies with over £36 million annual turnover, £18 million balance sheet total, or 250 employees.
  • Deadline & Importance: Annual. SECR is not just a regulatory requirement; it's a chance to showcase your company's commitment to energy efficiency and carbon reduction.
  • Our Role: We simplify the SECR reporting process, ensuring your data is accurate and your narrative around energy efficiency is compelling.

Public Procurement Notice (PPN) 06/21: Gateway to Government Contracts

  • What Is It? PPN 06/21 is a UK Government notice requiring suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to carbon reduction, particularly for contracts above certain thresholds.
  • For Whom? Businesses seeking contracts over £5 million with the UK Government or over £10,000 with the NHS.
  • Deadline & Importance: As applicable. Compliance with PPN 06/21 is crucial for accessing lucrative government contracts and demonstrating your commitment to carbon reduction. Regarding NHS suppliers, PPN reporting  is mandatory for above-mentioned NHS suppliers since April 2023. From April 2024, this requirement will likely extend to all new NHS procurements.
  • Our Role: Our platform and expertise streamline the creation of your Carbon Reduction Plan, aligning it with PPN 06/21 standards.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD): For the Forward-Thinking

  • What Is It? The TCFD provides a framework for companies to disclose financial information related to climate change, helping stakeholders understand the related risks and opportunities.
  • For Whom? Large UK companies with more than £500 million turnover and 500 employees, particularly those in the public sector, banking, insurance, or have securities admitted to AIM. 
  • Deadline & Importance: Ongoing. TCFD reporting is becoming a gold standard for climate-related financial transparency, helping businesses identify and manage climate-related risks and opportunities.
  • Our Role: Beyond data generation, we offer strategic support to help you articulate your climate risks, strategies, and governance in your TCFD submission.

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP): Enhancing Transparency

  • What Is It? The CDP is a global disclosure system that enables companies to measure and manage their environmental impacts.
  • For Whom? All businesses aiming to disclose their environmental impact transparently.
  • Deadline & Importance: Annual. Participation in the CDP is a powerful way to communicate your environmental responsibility and action to stakeholders.
  • Our Role: We assist in navigating the CDP questionnaire, ensuring your disclosures are both comprehensive and accurate.

Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi): Setting Ambitious Goals

  • What Is It? The SBTi encourages companies to set emission reduction targets in line with climate science. It's about ensuring your business's targets align with what is necessary to limit global warming.
  • For Whom? Businesses committed to setting rigorous, science-based emissions targets.
  • Deadline & Importance: Ongoing. SBTi targets are increasingly recognized as a hallmark of serious climate commitment, aligning your business with global efforts to mitigate climate change.
  • Our Role: We guide you through the SBTi process, from target setting and emissions scenario modelling to the final submission, ensuring your targets are ambitious yet achievable.

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD): Expanding Transparency Beyond Borders

  • What Is It? The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is an EU regulation that extends the sustainability reporting requirements to more companies, including those in the UK with links to EU markets. It mandates the disclosure of environmental and social impacts, promoting greater corporate transparency and accountability.
  • For Whom? This directive applies to large companies that are either EU-based or have significant operations within the EU, including many UK businesses with European ties (more than EUR 40 million net turnover in the preceding financial year).
  • Deadline & Importance: The CSRD is expected to be phased in from 2024. It's crucial for businesses with EU exposure to prepare for these reporting requirements, as they represent a significant shift towards comprehensive sustainability reporting.
  • Our Role: While the CSRD may seem daunting, our expertise in sustainability reporting can help your business navigate these new requirements. We provide support in understanding the directive's implications for your business and assist in the preparation of the necessary reports, ensuring compliance and strategic advantage in sustainability practices.

Feel free to download and share this tab to inform your network about 2024 climate regulations.

In conclusion, 2024 is a pivotal year for businesses to align with climate legislation and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Our range of net zero services, from GHG Reporting to SBTi target setting, is designed to make this transition seamless and efficient. By partnering with one of the best carbon accounting platforms, you can ensure that your business not only complies with current regulations but is also well-prepared for future environmental mandates.

Take the next step towards climate compliance and future-proofing your business. Contact us today to learn how we can support your journey to Net Zero. 

Neïla Ali-chaouch
Climate Action Manager
at Net Zero Now