Businesses forced to reveal environmental impact

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As part of plans to ensure that the UK is net zero by 2050, the use of wind and solar power must be expanded (Photo: Supplied)

Under new rules revealed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak this week, British companies will be forced to reveal the impact they are having on the environment by 2025. Thorough reports will need to be provided to shareholders to allow investors to direct their money to more climate-friendly firms, or to track improvements.

April Sotomayor, responsible resource use lead for Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), said: "As an environmental charity, we absolutely welcome these new regulations. Large businesses will need to monitor and adapt their operations in order to meet the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050 anyway.

"But we believe it’s vital for organisations to know their sustainability impacts, to be able to report on it, and make continual improvements – and this includes small and medium organisations that aren’t yet affected by the legislation. 

"With the UK needing to halve its emissions by 2030, businesses of all sizes have a part to play. It’s a great way for companies to become smarter, more resilient businesses of the future – we know that greener organisations have the potential to save money through resource efficiency, become more competitive, and win more sales too."

PECT founded the Investors in the Environment (iiE) accreditation scheme in 2010 with the aim to help and support organisations to reduce their environmental impacts and meet their green targets.

April continued: "Our national green accreditation scheme Investors in the Environment – which has 28 members in Peterborough alone – is a great way for organisations to get started on their sustainability journey, because we can support them every step of the way."

Mr Sunak said he was setting out plans "to make this country more open, more technologically advanced and a world leader in the use of green finance".

Making a statement in the Commons, Mr Sunak said: "We will be the first major economy, the first in the G20, to mandate disclosures by 2025.

"There is a road map that has been published today – it is the most ambitious timetable that any major economy has done to date.

"In fact, it goes far beyond what was recommended by the taskforce themselves and I think it is something that we, at least on this side of the House, will be very proud of."

The shift away from polluting fuels will require a major reset of the UK’s economy, including plans to get petrol and diesel cars off the roads, and to greatly expand the use of wind and solar power.

British water suppliers, including Anglian Water, yesterday announced plans to be working at net zero emissions by 2030.