The UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA“) has announced that three fashion retailers have signed voluntary undertakings to ensure that consumers have a clearer idea of how green their clothes really are. At the end of March 2024, ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda committed to only make green claims about their products

On 23 April 2024, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA“) published its “Finalised non‑handbook guidance on the Anti‑Greenwashing Rule (FG/24/3)” (the “Guidance“). The FCA has published the Guidance to help in-scope firms understand and comply with the anti-greenwashing rule, which will come into effect on 31 May 2024.Continue Reading UK Financial Conduct Authority publishes finalised guidance on its Anti-Greenwashing rule

On March 25, 2024, the Brazilian federal government published Decree No. 11.961/2024, establishing an advisory and deliberative group, the Brazilian Sustainable Taxonomy Interinstitutional Committee (“CITSB”), which will coordinate the development and implementation of the Brazilian Sustainable Taxonomy (“TSB”). The TSB will establish a classification system for sustainable projects and activities, providing standardized terminology for companies

On 9 June 2023, the European Union published Regulation (EU) 2023/1115 on the making available on the Union market and the export from the Union of certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation (the “Deforestation Regulation” or the “EUDR”). The EUDR entered into force on 29 June 2023, although the main prohibitions

Climate disclosure regulations are among the most significant and complex challenges faced by companies and boards, with a variety of requirements emanating from numerous governmental authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in recent years. Mayer Brown lawyers from around the world produced a White Paper on Global Climate Change Disclosure Initiatives and Board Corporate Governance Considerations

The recent decision (20 February 2024) of the High Court in R (Rights Community Action) v Secretary of State is a rare example of an NGO succeeding in a climate change legal action under English law.  In the case, Rights Community Action persuaded the High Court to overturn a finding by the Secretary of State’s Planning Inspectors that a local authority’s “net zero” policy was unlawful.Continue Reading NGO successfully challenges planning inspectors’ report on energy performance standards

On 20 December 2023, the Council of the EU reached an agreement on its negotiating mandate on a proposal for a regulation on ESG ratings  (the “Proposed EU Regulation“). This builds on the European Commission’s proposal, which was published on 13 June 2023.

The EU’s desire to regulate ESG rating agencies is a response to increasing concerns from a variety of stakeholders about the reliability, comparability and transparency of ESG ratings and the data behind these ratings.Continue Reading Council of the EU agrees on proposal to regulate ESG ratings providers

On 28 November 2023, Baroness Young of Hornsey introduced the Commercial Organisations and Public Authorities Duty (Human Rights and Environment) Bill (the “Bill”) to the House of Lords.  If passed, the Bill would introduce mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (“HREDD”) into UK law.

The description of “reasonable” HREDD set out in the Bill is consistent with the standards set out in the UN Guiding Principles and existing and draft legislation in other jurisdictions (including the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, “CS3D”, as outlined in our previous blog here).  Companies with international footprints, including through their direct operations and supply chains, should already have in place a plan to implement enterprise HREDD processes that meet existing soft law standards and emerging hard law HREDD requirements.

While it is unclear whether the Bill would be supported by the UK Government, companies should already be taking steps to anticipate and prepare for HREDD.  The direction of travel is undoubtedly trending towards HREDD legislation and stakeholder expectations around how companies should respond continue to increase.  In particular, several jurisdictions have already adopted laws that require companies to identify, address, prevent, mitigate and remedy harms in their operations and supply chains (e.g. France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands) in advance of CS3D which will directly apply to many large non-EU based companies given its broad extraterritorial application, while others are considering such laws (e.g. CS3D) (e.g., see our previous blogs here and here).Continue Reading Business and Human Rights – could the UK adopt mandatory human rights due diligence?

A new California ”anti-greenwashing” law comes into effect on January 1, 2024.  The law – called the Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act (AB 1305) (VCMDA) – casts a wide net over companies participating in the California voluntary carbon market or that make certain “green” claims within California.  The VCMDA applies regardless of revenue thresholds if