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ESG Policies and Regulations Update January 2024

Published on 01/02/2024 by Acclaro Advisory

The following details framework updates, and their implications, that occurred in January, as well as highlighting some key updates and releases to be aware of in the coming few years. Frameworks such as those explored in this report can help stakeholders understand how an organisation manages risks and opportunities around such sustainability issues. Often used as a communication tool, it can play an important role in demonstrating the sincerity of a company’s actions as well as ensuring good governance.  

Four in ten British businesses believe sustainability to be profitable, according to a study conducted by SAP. 37% of 300 UK-based business leaders have stated they are therefore motivated to act on environmental sustainability as they see opportunities to boost financial performance.  

January 2024 Update

The general observed trends within frameworks include a growing focus on disclosure, regarding both data and strategy, as well as an increased engagement of supply chains. Climate impacts are also seeing greater levels of inclusion into regulations and policies.  

CSRDMandatory disclosure requirements under the CSRD come into effect 1 Jan 2024 
ESRS EFRAG has published two working papers on ESRS sector-specific standards SEC1 and SEC2.  16 Jan 2024 
ESRS The Commission has recommended delaying the adoption of ESRS standards by 2 years. 24 Jan 2024 
GRIGRI 101: Biodiversity 2024 has been released, which updates, expands on and replaces GRI 304: Biodiversity 2016. 25 Jan 2024 
GRIGRI has developed a range of mapping tools that will help organisations leverage existing GRI reporting to comply with the new ESRS and ISSB standards.  26 Jan 2024 


Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

The CSRD is the delivery mechanism for the ESRS, its overarching framework. The CSRD replaced the NFRD, or non-financial reporting directive, which saw an increase in scope and reporting requirements.  

From 1 January 2024, mandatory disclosure requirements have come into effect, meaning organisations are required to disclose their risks from environmental and social factors.  

European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS)

The ESRS is the overarching framework which sets mandatory disclosure requirements under the EU CSRD, which is its delivery mechanism.  

EFRAG is the technical adviser to the European Commission when developing draft ESRS. EFRAG has published two working papers on ESRS sector-specific standards, SEC1 and SEC2. The first paper, SEC1, lists 40 ESRS standards categorised into 14 sector groups. SEC2 outlines the general approach to sector-specific ESRS, providing a general framework for sector clarification and a comparison with Pillar 3 rules, the GRI and SASB sector classification systems.  

Furthermore, the Commission has recommended delaying the adoption of ESRS standards by 2 years, to allow companies to focus on implementing the first set of ESRS and to limit reporting requirements, as well as to provide the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) with more time to develop the new standards. 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

The GRI is an internationally recognised and extremely broad framework of standards for reporting on sustainability with requirements, recommendations and guidance on 900 sustainability topics.  

GRI 101 helps organisations understand which decisions and business practices lead to biodiversity loss, where in their value chain impacts occur, and how they can be managed. The disclosures in the new Biodiversity Standard align with the goals and targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and are consistent with the TNFD recommendations and ESRS standard on biodiversity and ecosystems.  

A new requirement of the final revision includes disclosures regarding offsets. If corporates use biodiversity-related offsets, they will have to disclose the goals of the project, the geographic location, whether and how principles of good practices are met, and whether and how the offset is certified or verified by a third party. The updated standard will come into effect for reporting on 1 January 2026.  

Please find below the links to the mapping tools produced by GRI: 

Date expectedFrameworkDescription
April 2024SECThe SEC has set April as the deadline for its climate disclosure rule, after multiple delays 
May 2024UK SDRAnti-greenwashing rule and guidance comes into force on 31 May
June 2024TCFDFCA ESG Rules: TCFD disclosures relating to Financial Year 2023 to be finalised
June 2024SDRFirst elements of the new rules (excluding anti-greenwashing rule) to come into force – at the earliest
July 2024ESRSAnticipated adoption of the second draft of ESRS 
July 2024UK SDSSecretary of State for Business and Trade will consider the endorsement of the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, to create the UK SDS
July 2024UK SDSFirms can begin to use labels, with accompanying disclosures from 31 July
December 2024UK SDRNaming and marketing rules come into force, with accompanying disclosures, from 2 December
2024CSRDDue to supersede NFRD in 2024. Large companies already subject to NFRD must begin reporting on the fiscal year 2024. Drafting of sectoral-ESRS. 
2024CSDDDApplication of CSDDD to certain EU and non-EU companies expected to begin at some stage in 2024 
2024GHG ProtocolExpected to release drafts of revised text 
January 2025CSRDExpected application of CSRD to large EU reporting. Sustainability reporting in 2026 for Financial Year 2025
December 2025UK SDROngoing product-level and entity-level disclosures for firms with AUM>£50bn, from 2 December
2025GHG ProtocolFinal standards and guidance to be released 
2025UK SDSSuite of KPIs will need to responded on from 2025 onwards
January 2026CSRDExpected application of EU CSRD to listed SMEs (may affect a small number of portfolio companies)
December 2026UK SDREntity-level disclosure rules extended to firms with AUM>£5bn, from 2 December
January 2028CSRDExpected application of EU CSRD to non-EU companies, reporting in 2029 for Financial Year 2028


In its Autumn Statement 2022, the UK Government announced a new, long-term commitment to enhance energy efficiency, aiming to drive down costs for households, businesses, and the public sector with the end goal being a 15% reduction in the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 2030 compared to 2021 levels. 

This commitment took the form of new government funding worth £6 billion being made available from 2025 to 2028. These funds have recently been earmarked, in a government press statement on December 18, 2023, for various schemes aimed at delivering energy efficiency assistance to businesses and homes throughout the United Kingdom. Some of these schemes are new, while some are existing schemes that have been allocated more funding. 

SchemeAllocationDescriptionYears of funding in the next spending review period
Boiler Upgrade Scheme£1.545bn Replacing fossil fuel heating systems 2025/2026 – 2027/2028
Heat Pump Investment Accelerator £15m Bringing forward investment in the UK heat pump manufacturing supply chain 2025/2026 
New £400m energy efficiency grant £400m For households in England to make changes such as bigger radiators or better insulation 2025/2026 – 2027/2028
New local authority retrofit scheme £500m Supporting low-income and cold homes with measures such as insulation 2025/2026 – 2027/2028 
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund £1.253bn Supporting social homes to be insulated or retrofitted2025/2026 – 2027/2028 
Green Heat Network Fund£485mHelping homes and buildings access low carbon, affordable heating 2025/2026 – 2027/2028 
Heat Network Efficiency Scheme£45m Improving around 100 existing heat networks2025/2026 – 2027/2028
Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme £1.17bn Providing grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures2025/2026 – 2027/2028
Industrial Energy Transformation Fund £225m Continuing to help businesses transition to a low-carbon future 2025/2026 – 2027/2028 
Industrial Energy Efficiency and decarbonisation support £410m Further details to be announced in due course 2025/2026 – 2027/2028 

Sustainability abbreviations

CSDDD – Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive 

CSRD – Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive 

ESRS – European Sustainability Reporting Standards 

GHG Protocol – Greenhouse Gas Protocol 

GRI – Global Reporting Initiative  

ISSB – International Sustainability Standards Board 

TCFD – Taskforce for Climate Related Disclosure 

UK SDR – Sustainability Disclosure Requirements  

UK SDS – Sustainability Disclosure Standards 

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