The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

How Will Sustainability Affect Your Business in 2024?

How Will Sustainability Affect Your Business in 2024?
19 February 2024

In the rapidly evolving landscape of environmental consciousness, staying ahead of sustainability trends is crucial for businesses navigating the delicate balance between progress and challenges. 

In this Opinion piece, our partners, Planet Mark, dive deep into the insights delivered by industry experts Andrew Griffiths, Director of Policy and Partnerships at Planet Mark, and David Carlin, Head of Climate Risk and TCFD at UNEP FI at their recent webinar.


Closing of 2023


2023 Triumphs: Surpassing $1 Trillion in Green Tech Investments and Global Policy Leadership


2023 saw great progress in the environmental scene, with a lot to be celebrated in diverse fields. Investments in clean tech surpassed$1 trillion, marking a pivotal shift towards sustainability as it topped investment in fossil fuels for the first time since records began in 2004. Similarly, in 2022/23, driven by a surge in the second-hand clothing sector, annual spending on ethical products and investments in the UK soared past £140 billion.

In September, the EU took major steps as lawmakers agreed on rules to prevent businesses from making misleading green claims. Most recently, the EU voted to pass this directive, outlawing terms such as 'eco-friendly,' 'environmentally friendly,' and 'natural.'


2023 Hurdles: The Ever-Transparent Climate Urgency


We also witnessed a surge in global fire activity, including record-breaking burns across Canada and catastrophic fires in Hawaii, underscoring the urgent need for escalated climate action. These multifaceted hurdles emphasise the delicate balance between environmental progress and regional resistance, highlighting the imperative for sustained efforts towards a more sustainable and socially responsible global economy.


Sustainable Momentum in 2024


Legal Empowerment and Political Voice for our Planet


In the ever-evolving landscape of environmental consciousness, 2024 signals transformative changes. The EU is spearheading the advancement of global nature-related advocacy, achieving a notable victory with the criminalisation of severe environmental offences, comparable to ecocide —an immense triumph for Stop Ecocide International, a progressive movement aiming to secure legal rights and political representation for nonhuman animals, species, and places.


Renewable Energy Surge


Anticipate a groundbreaking shift in the energy landscape in 2024, with the International Energy Agency projecting global renewable energy capacity to surpass 4,500 gigawatts, equal to the total power output of China and the United States combined. This signals a positive  step towards renewables overtaking coal as the primary global electricity source.


Green Finance Innovations


In September 2023, the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) unveiled a groundbreaking framework, emphasising the interplay between financial and environmental considerations.

Four months prior, the Science-based Targets Network (SBTN) set the stage for corporate nature targets in May 2023, showcasing a growing commitment to align business practices with ecological sustainability.


2024 Regulatory Trends 


Across the globe, regulatory trends are shifting to support the transition towards a net-zero world. From the UK's advancements in energy reporting standards to the US driving green progress, this year promises tighter laws that can affect businesses worldwide.


United Kingdom: Navigating Evolving Energy Reporting Standards


The UK's Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) is under review for alignment with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); potential updates may include scope 3 emissions, enhancing transparency in carbon reporting.

In November, the UK enhanced ESOS Phase 3 criteria, now demanding comprehensive analysis, reporting, and action plans covering 95 per cent of total energy consumption. Public disclosure of high-level recommendations and annual progress reviews are also now mandatory. Additionally, ISO 50001 holders, once exempt, must now submit detailed reports, including data on energy savings achieved since the last compliance period.


European Union: Elevating Corporate Accountability


The EU's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) took centre stage at our event as it kicks off this year and will impact around 50,000 businesses mostly in Europe but also has implications worldwide. Mandating double materiality measurement and disclosure of emissions and sustainability risks, CSRD underscores the EU's commitment to corporate accountability.

Simultaneously, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) is under debate, potentially reshaping supply chain requirements and directorial responsibilities.


United States: Driving Green Progress


Across the Atlantic, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to announce its finalised emission disclosure rules for around 60,000 regulated organisations, reinforcing transparency and accountability in the American corporate landscape. 

In addition, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is driving progress in decarbonising energy and industry, aiming to gain competitive advantage for the US green industry.


Business and Political Trends 2024: Navigating the Shifting Landscape


Navigating Scope 3 Reporting


A rise in carbon legislation is causing a cascade up and down the value chain, with initiatives like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive driving the quest for transparency across the value chain. This demand has created a significant shift involving meticulous scrutiny of scope 3 emissions, which can make up to 90 per cent of an organisation's carbon footprint.


Paving the Way for Electric Mobility


The UK's ambitious zero-emission vehicle mandate faces potential setbacks in 2024 due to a policy U-turn postponing the ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2035. Despite challenges, it's worth noting that UK carmakers will still have to meet sales targets in the lead-up to 2025, with more than 20 per cent of each manufacturer's new cars sold in 2024 required to be zero-emission vehicles. ​


Global Electoral in 2024 Shaping Political and Environmental Futures


As a global electoral journey unfolds in 2024, half the world's population prepares for a pivotal moment at the polls. A focal point in the UK is the potential impact of a Labour government committing £28 billion annually to transition to a green economy. Although current polls indicate a victory for the Labour Party, the proposal faces challenges in execution on the intricate political terrain.

Internationally, the lingering impact of Trump's presidency on climate action continues to cast a shadow. In recent years we have seen local choices resonate far beyond borders, influencing not only national behaviours but also the direction of environmental efforts worldwide. From legal advocacy for nature to renewable energy surges and global regulatory shifts, the momentum is building towards a more sustainable future. 

Catch the recording of Planet Mark’s webinar here.

Picture: a photograph of some solar panels in a field. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Planet Mark | Published 19 February 2024


Related Tags

Related Articles

Net-Zero Policies to Watch in 2024

To mark Earth Day 2024, Planet Mark spotlights how businesses can stay ahead of net-zero policy.   UK Policies: SECR and ESOS   In the UK, over...

 Read Full Article
Why Sustainability and Business Go Hand in Hand

ThisWeekinFM Partner Planet Mark explains how to embed sustainability into your business to strengthen its commercial resilience.  In recent years, sustainability...

 Read Full Article
Greenhushing and How to Avoid it in Business

ThisWeekinFM Partner Planet Mark explains how greenhushing can have the same adverse effect on an organisation as greenwashing.  The crackdown on greenwashing by...

 Read Full Article
What is COP28 And Is It Still Important?  

TWinFM partner Planet Mark breaks down why COP28 is a big deal and how your business can get involved.   Watch the Video   >   In a...

 Read Full Article
Planet Mark Launches Free Events on Net-Zero Policy and COP28

ThisWeekinFM Partner Planet Mark is hosting two free online events for those interested in climate change policy and how will it will affect...

 Read Full Article
Planet Mark Acquired by Alcumus

Sustainability certification company and ThisWeekinFM Partner Planet Mark has been acquired by Alcumus. The move will allow Planet Mark to expand its client and...

 Read Full Article
Planet Mark Shares Sustainability Insights for the Cleaning Industry

TWinFM partner Planet Mark hosted a roundtable with members from the cleaning sector to uncover how to navigate the key challenges in promoting sustainable...

 Read Full Article
Five Tips for Adopting Sustainable Business Practices

TWinFM partner Planet Mark has created a list of top tips for adopting sustainable business practices to achieve commercial resilience and help combat climate...

 Read Full Article
COP27 – Reflections from Planet Mark – Part 2

In part two of their COP27 roundup, our partners at Planet Mark outline their reflections from the climate conference and hopes for future global...

 Read Full Article
COP27  – Outcomes and Takeaways from Planet Mark – Part 1

COP27 was hailed as “a make-or-break moment” and an opportunity to move from targets to implementation. Our partners at Planet Mark have shared some key...

 Read Full Article