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Net-Zero Policies to Watch in 2024

Net-Zero Policies to Watch in 2024
22 April 2024 | Updated 24 April 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 15,000 medium and large businesses will be directly affected by Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) and The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). Let's delve into each:




Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) is the UK government's initiative to drive action towards a low-carbon economy and direct benefits like transparent reporting, stakeholder engagement, and carbon emission mitigation.


SECR applies to companies that meet two or more of the following criteria in a financial year:

  • More than 250 employees
  • Over £36m annual turnover
  • Over £18m on annual balance sheet


SECR is currently under review for alignment with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) requirements, potentially expanding the reach to include scope 3 emissions, requiring businesses affected to expand the reporting parameter and introduce supply chain engagement to mitigate these emissions.


ESOS Phase 3 (5 June 2024 Deadline)


The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) mandates energy audits every four years for large UK organisations.

Phase 3, with a deadline of 5 June 2024, requires compliance from organisations with 250+ employees or annual turnover exceeding £44M and an annual balance sheet totalling over £38M. Non-compliance can result in fines of up to £50,000.

Last year's updates strengthened reporting requirements, including 95 per cent of total energy consumption, public disclosure of recommendations, and mandatory annual progress reviews.


EU Policies: Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Business Travel Reporting


Outside the UK, the EU's CSRD comes into effect this year, impacting approximately 50,000 businesses. It mandates double materiality measurement and disclosure of emissions and sustainability risks. The directive aims to drive accountability, transparency, and sustainable practices, requiring companies to report various ESG metrics to enhance understanding and response.


Netherlands: Business Travel & Commuting Reporting


In the Netherlands, the Work-Related Mobility of Persons (WPM) mandate requires businesses with 100+ employees to report the total kilometres travelled per transport and fuel type; this is an interesting example of government-mandated gathering of raw carbon-relevant data.

Effective from July 1, 2024, this initiative promotes transparency and accountability, encouraging organisations to thoroughly measure and report their carbon emissions.


Global Policies: ISO Net-Zero Guidelines


The ISO Net-Zero Guidelines are the first end-to-end net-zero governance framework available, aimed at aligning organisations in their approach to achieving net-zero. Planet Mark proudly endorses the guidelines, being among the first global early adopters. They have integrated these guidelines into their internationally recognised Net-Zero Programme to ensure their members adopt credible targets and robust strategies.

Building upon its proposal for a full standard is underway intending to launch at COP30.

By staying informed and proactive, you can stay ahead of the curve on net-zero policy and legislation remaining at the forefront of change.


Keep Ahead of Net-Zero Policy With These Resources


Here are a few tools and resources Andrew Griffiths, Director of Policy & Partnerships, Planet Mark and Sarah Goodenough, Head of Policy, Climate Policy Radar shared during a recent webinar that help businesses keep ahead of these policies:


  1. Planet Mark Carbon Policy Tracker: Receive a tailored report based on your business size/location.
  2. Climate Policy Radar: Data science and AI for researching climate change policies and laws
  3. Climate Action Tracker: Understand and compare the impact of national policies and targets on net-zero
  4. UK Green Building Council Newsletter: A brilliant resource, especially for the built environment
  5. Government Updates: Subscribe to mailing lists such as the UK DESNZ for the latest information

In conclusion, staying abreast of evolving net-zero policies is crucial for businesses navigating the sustainability landscape. With tools like the Planet Mark Carbon Policy Tracker and Climate Policy Radar, staying proactive is within reach.

Picture: a photograph showing a black background, with the top of a globe visible in the bottom half od the image. Image Credit: Pexels

Article written by Planet Mark | Published 22 April 2024


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