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ESG Policies and Regulations Update September 2023

Published on 29/09/2023 by Acclaro Advisory

The following document details framework updates that occurred in September, 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.

The global regulatory landscape has experienced exponential growth in the past few decades, with 647% increase in ESG regulations since the start of the 21st century. In June, global ESG regulations were found to have increased by 155% in the last 10 years. 1,255 ESG regulations have been introduced worldwide since 2011 yet to compare, only 493 regulations were published in the 9 years from 2001 to 2010.

September 2023 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.

GRIEFRAG and GRI have confirmed that they have achieved a high level of interoperability between their respective standards in relation to impact reporting.5 Sept 2023
SBTiThe SBTi is set to split its standard-setting and target validation functions as part of a major ‘transformation’ plan is intended to increase its capacity.13 Sept 2023
TNFDThe TNFD has published its finalised set of recommendations, being 14 recommended disclosures and additional implementation guidance have been unveiled.18 September 2023
UN unveils Plastic Treaty

The UN Environment Programme has published the first draft of a new global treaty intended to boost efforts to eliminate plastic production through to 2024. The draft states nations should aim for “prevention, progressive reduction and elimination of plastic production throughout the lifecycle of plastic”.

G20 Nations Agree to Treble Renewable Energy Capacity

The G20 summit in India was concluded with mixed environmental progress. Strong progress was made on clean energy, with leaders agreeing to triple renewable generation capacity by 2030. However, the weak wording on reducing fossil fuels and energy efficiency has caused concerns. Other groups such as CDP have criticised the absence of nature in discussions and are urging members to adopt 10 principles for high-quality mandatory disclosure on nature.

SDGs Can Be Delivered Following a Five-Point Plan, yet Expected to Take 20 Years

Earth4All and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) has unveiled a five-point plan to deliver the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but this will take more than 20 years until completion.

Upcoming Changes

Date ExpectedFrameworkDescription
Mid-late 2023SDRPlanned policy statement confirming SDR rules
Mid-late 2023GRINew GRI Biodiversity Standards expected to be published
Mid-late 2023SEC’s climate-related disclosuresIssuance of a finalised Climate Disclosure rule delayed until ‘fall’
October 2023Transition Plan TaskforceFinal Disclosure Frameworks expected for the seven selected sectors guidance
November 2023CSRDEFRAG to propose a second draft of ESRS to the Commission that will include standards for sectors, non-EU companies, and listed SMEs; voluntary guidance for non-listed SMEs; amendment to the first draft to implement a cap on value chain emissions
2023CDPNew questions to be released on biodiversity, requesting Board level oversight, public commitments, the impact of the value chain, actions to progress the topic, indicators and related publications
July 2024CSRDAnticipated 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
2024CSRDDue to supersede NFRD in 2024. Large companies already subject to NFRD must begin reporting on the fiscal year 2024.
2024GHG ProtocolExpected to release drafts of revised text
2025GHG ProtocolFinal standards and guidance to be released


Looking ahead, alignment of regulatory initiatives, harmonisation of targets and more standardised data will be needed to help improve transparency and enable companies to achieve their decarbonisation targets. The underlying principles new regulations and ratings due to align to are the ESRS and ISSB.

As a result, companies should be reviewing and aligning to the ISSB’s Standards and the ESRS. Initially, a gap analysis should be conducted to identify missing data and information as well as giving an opportunity to make roles and responsibilities clear to all personnel involved – upskilling may be required. Ensuing this, improving the accuracy of data should occur, accompanied by an internal report in preparation for public reporting once UK compliance requirements have been released.

How we can help

We can support you and your organisation navigate the complexities of voluntary and mandatory reporting, as well as the regulatory frameworks around sustainability. Please contact us to speak to one of our experts.


CDP – (formally) Carbon Disclosure Project

CSRD – Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

ESRS – European Sustainability Reporting Standards

GHG Protocol – Greenhouse Gas Protocol

GRI – Global Reporting Initiative

ISSB – International Sustainability Standards Board

SBTi – Science Based Targets Initiative

SDR – Sustainability Disclosure Requirements

TNFD – Taskforce for Nature Related Disclosure

UK SDS – Sustainability Disclosure Standards

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