Green Deal – if your EMEA head doesn’t know about it, they need to

by James Kennedy

 

A full 2 years after the initial announcement of the Green deal, companies not directly involved in renewable energy or fighting against it, have started  to realise the implications. The Green Deal represents the single largest sustainability package ever conceived of. 1 Trillion Euro poured into sustainability initiatives across the EU while definitely nothing to scoff at, is not even the most impactful aspect of the plan.

Tethered to this funding is a raft of legislative overhauls and new legislative proposals. In contrast to previous environmental initiatives, the Commission has brought both carrot and stick to this table.

Ever increasing restrictions on chemical use and a push for alternatives, new rules on exposure for workers under employment rules, new emissions targets, ground and air pollution measures – the list go on.

Heavily overlooked so far has been the carbon border adjustment mechanism. No other instrument has the same potential to devastate supply lines and cost structures. A system that will impose a form of carbon tax or tariff system on products entering the EU that fail to meet EU standards.

Tariffs are the reason there’s no such thing as cheap Argentinian beef in the EU. In the near future, there will be no such thing as a cheap alternative to non-biodegradable EU plastics.

Let’s be very clear – this is not a storm to be weathered, or a fad to live through. The entire EU economy is being pushed to create markets that reward sustainability wherever possible and punish those who do not actively seek to incorporate these solutions.

Every international company in every sector that involves anything to do the manufacture of products that does not have a “sustainability plan” will be behind come 2022.

Every plasticiser, every chemical, every piece of packaging you use, ever single component of how you make and transport a product will be coming under intense scrutiny in the coming years.
 
There are few times when you can say with absolute certainty what way a market is going to shift. A Green transition is not going to be a trend in your market, it’s going to be the law.

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