Sustainability Regulations: A 2024 Guide for Every Business

Navigating the world of sustainability regulations can feel like a maze, with over 3,000 different rules and guidelines out there. These regulations cover everything from environmental practices to social responsibility and governance (ESG), and the sheer number of acronyms and complexities can be overwhelming. To help businesses of all sizes and across various industries make sense of it all, we’ve put together a handy list of key regulations. This list includes relevant links and specific guidelines tailored to different sectors, updated as of July 2024.

Our goal is to make it easier for you to stay on top of these important standards and ensure your business is compliant. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, understanding and following these regulations is crucial for sustainable growth and success. With our resources, you’ll have a clearer path through the regulatory jungle, helping you focus on what you do best while staying aligned with current sustainability practices.

Regulation Description Type of Business Size of Business


UK Stewardship Code Aims to enhance the quality of engagement between institutional investors and companies to improve long-term returns and the efficient exercise of governance responsibilities. Financial services (institutional investors) Institutional investors, including asset managers and owners
Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations Provides a framework for companies to disclose climate-related financial risks and opportunities. All industries Listed companies and large private companies (initially focused on financial institutions and insurers)
Mandatory Climate-related Financial Disclosures Requires large companies to disclose climate-related financial information in line with TCFD recommendations. All industries Large listed companies, banks, insurers, and large private companies (Phased implementation)
UK Environmental Reporting Guidelines Provides voluntary guidelines for environmental reporting. All industries Applicable to organisations of all sizes choosing to report environmental information


Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) Requires large companies to report on their energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and related actions. All industries Large companies (meeting at least two of the following: 250+ employees, £36 million+ turnover, £18 million+ balance sheet)
Climate Change Levy (CCL) A tax on energy delivered to non-domestic users to incentivise energy efficiency. All industries Applicable to businesses of all sizes using taxable energy sources
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive Regulates the disposal and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment. Manufacturing, retail All companies producing or importing electrical and electronic equipment
Packaging Waste Regulations Requires businesses to reduce the amount of packaging waste. Manufacturing, retail Companies with an annual turnover of £2 million+ and handling 50 tonnes of packaging per year
Water Resources Act Regulates water pollution and resource management. All industries Businesses using or discharging large volumes of water
Clean Air Act Regulates air pollution from industrial and commercial processes. Manufacturing, energy Large companies with significant emissions
Environmental Protection Act Provides the framework for waste management and control of emissions. All industries All businesses handling waste and emissions
F-Gas Regulations Controls the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases. Manufacturing, refrigeration Companies using F-gases in their processes
Hazardous Waste Regulations Governs the production, transport, and disposal of hazardous waste. All industries Companies producing or handling hazardous waste
Plastic Packaging Tax Imposes a tax on plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic. Manufacturing, retail All companies producing or importing 10 tonnes or more of plastic packaging annually


Modern Slavery Act Requires businesses to disclose steps taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. All industries Companies with an annual turnover of £36 million or more
Equality Act Protects against discrimination in the workplace and wider society. All industries Applicable to all employers
Health and Safety at Work Act Ensures the health and safety of employees in the workplace. All industries All employers
Gender Pay Gap Reporting Requires employers to publish data on the gender pay gap within their organisation. All industries Companies and public sector organisations with 250+ employees
National Minimum Wage Act Establishes minimum wage rates for different age groups. All industries All employers
Working Time Regulations Regulates working hours, rest breaks, and annual leave. All industries All employers
Employee Rights Act Provides a range of employment rights including unfair dismissal and redundancy. All industries All employers
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act Protects children and vulnerable adults from harm. Education, healthcare Organisations working with children and vulnerable adults
Children and Families Act Covers various issues related to children, including adoption, family justice, and special educational needs. All industries Applicable to organisations working with children and families


Companies Act Governs the formation, management, and dissolution of companies. All industries All companies
UK Corporate Governance Code Sets out standards of good practice in relation to board leadership, effectiveness, remuneration, accountability, and relations with shareholders. All industries Premium listed companies
Data Protection Act and GDPR Regulates the processing of personal data. All industries All businesses processing personal data
Financial Services and Markets Act Regulates the financial services industry. Financial services All financial institutions
Insolvency Act Provides the legal framework for dealing with company insolvency. All industries All companies
Freedom of Information Act Grants public access to information held by public authorities. Public sector Public authorities
Whistleblowing Policy Protects employees who report wrongdoing in the workplace. All industries All employers

Supply Chain

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulates chemicals and their safe use. Manufacturing, chemicals Companies manufacturing or importing chemicals
Fair Trade Laws Ensures that trade practices are fair and competitive. All industries All businesses engaged in trade
Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market) Regulations Prevents the trade of illegally harvested timber. Manufacturing, retail Companies importing or selling timber and timber products
Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations Regulates the trade of endangered species. All industries Companies trading in species listed under CITES

Other Regulations

Consumer Rights Act Protects consumer rights when buying goods and services. All industries All businesses selling goods or services to consumers
Anti-Bribery and Corruption Laws Prevents bribery and corruption in business practices. All industries All businesses
Food Safety Act Ensures that food is safe to eat. Food and beverage All food businesses
Consumer Contracts Regulations Provides protections for consumers entering into contracts. All industries All businesses offering goods or services to consumers
Competition Act Promotes fair competition and prohibits anti-competitive practices. All industries All businesses

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