The climate emergency has had a profound impact on political and economic agendas globally. Sustainability considerations are now firmly embedded in the legal and regulatory environment in which businesses operate, and in the expectations that investors and customers increasingly place on corporates.
Businesses are re-examining their policies, processes and supply chains in light of this, searching for ways in which they can not only meet best practice standards but also actively contribute to a more sustainable world.
However, sustainability projects are often expensive, involving the implementation of time-intensive and complex processes. This may mean that some environmental initiatives are simply out of reach for individual businesses and can only effectively be put into practice through cooperation. The question many are asking is whether the competition rules pose a threat to businesses seeking to pursue green initiatives, or whether they can be used to complement, and support, the fight against climate change. Guidance from competition authorities to date has been scant. However, more is expected in the coming months to shed light on how businesses can best ensure the compliance of their sustainability agreements with UK and EU-wide competition rules.