CLIMATE CONSULTING

The strategy of climate neutrality for businesses is a new reporting obligation for commercial law companies, stemming from Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 26, 2013, regarding annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements, and related reports of certain types of entities. This involves disclosing greenhouse gas emissions in scopes 1, 2, 3, and the results of actions taken in relation to the climate goals of the European Union.

The aim of these new requirements is to shape businesses towards managing their own impact on the climate and presenting it to their stakeholders (regulators, supervisors, customers, society, or competitors). This includes a continuous reduction of the negative impact on the climate through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These actions contribute to slowing down the ongoing global warming, which is already affecting society. They are also essential in conducting business. The introduction of these guidelines supports the achievement of the EU’s common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 and achieving a reduction of 80-95% by 2050.

The rising energy prices and the proposed directive on reporting actions for sustainable development make delaying the energy transformation in businesses not only costly but soon to become mandatory.

ESG Taxonomy is a colloquial term for a new European Union legal act, namely Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 18, 2020, establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment.

The new regulations aim to increase environmental protection by redirecting capital from environmentally harmful investments to more eco-friendly alternatives.

ESG stands for “Environmental, Social, and Governance,” representing a framework or analytical tool used to assess the social, environmental, and managerial impact of investments or the activities of companies and organizations. ESG Taxonomy refers to the categorization and classification of ESG aspects, allowing for a more precise assessment and comparison of the actions and performance of different entities.

Here is a brief description of each of the three ESG categories:

  • Environmental: Pertains to aspects related to the organization’s impact on the natural environment. This includes greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, waste management, nature conservation, and other aspects related to sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Social: Addresses social issues such as workers’ rights, health and safety of employees, gender equality, diversity, stakeholder relations, access to education and healthcare, and other aspects affecting the community and society.
  • Governance: Encompasses principles and management practices within the organization, including management structure, business ethics, transparency, independence of the supervisory board, anti-corruption measures, adherence to ethical standards, and compliance with regulations.

ESG Taxonomy assists investors, companies, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders in more precisely defining and assessing the extent to which an organization incorporates ESG aspects into its operations. This tool is increasingly important in the context of sustainable investing and management because it allows for decision-making that considers both financial and social and environmental aspects. ESG Taxonomy is also a crucial tool in the pursuit of sustainable development goals and reducing an organization’s impact on the natural environment and society.

The primary goal of assessing an entity from an ESG perspective is to develop a comprehensive report and an effective way to inform the capital market about the results of an analysis conducted by independent analysts. Therefore, the first step towards climate neutrality should be an examination of the organization’s carbon footprint. Calculating it allows the organization to determine the starting point and a synthetic indicator, the decreasing value of which will indicate progress in actions.

Once the starting point is known, the recommended second step is to develop an ESG policy, planning actions in both the long and short term.

With the data in hand, the next step is to develop detailed action plans for each year and then monitor progress according to the so-called “Energy Transformation Plan”.

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