Why 2021 is the ‘super year’ for corporate sustainability - Inteb

Why 2021 is the ‘super year’ for corporate sustainability


In January 2021, new guidelines were released by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to help UK businesses understand how to achieve their net-zero goals and corporate sustainability compliance.

And with the Ten Point Plan, Build Back Better Scheme and updates to the UK’s heat network announced, 2021 is the year business owners will feel the pressure of implementing sustainability into their organisation.

Why 2021 is the year

With the world’s leaders meeting for COP26 in Glasgow in November to discuss how to reverse the damage we’re doing to the planet, there’s never been a year more important than 2021.

So, with that, plus new guidelines and schemes, here is how 2021 is the ‘super year’ for corporate responsibility:

One. Sustainability Agreements & Competition Law

The CMA’s guidelines clarify and give detailed assistance to business owners who want to collaborate with others to achieve sustainability.

For example:

  • Creating eco-friendly packaging
  • Making products energy efficient

These guidelines allow collaborations to achieve sustainability without breaking competition laws.

You can find out more by visiting the Government website.

Two. Updates to the heating network

There are approximately 135,000 metered non-domestic and domestic dwellings connected to the UK’s 14,000 district and communal heating networks, while 342,000 remain unmetered.

Changes to the Heat Network Regulations (2020) require buildings connected to a heat network are classified as either:

  • Viable – where meters must be installed,
  • Open – where meters must be installed if cost effective or,
  • Exempt – where metering is not required

Heat suppliers need to have classified each building on the networks they operate, along with a cost effective assessment for any in the open class, by 27th November 2021. Necessary corrective action must then be completed by 1st September 2022.

These regulations are designed to drive energy efficiency, reducing both consumer bills and carbon emissions from the heating of buildings.

Three. The Build Back Better plan

In March 2021, the UK government announced the Build Back Better plan, which is designed to boost economic and business growth after the pandemic through investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation.

Like the COVID vaccine, it’s a shot in the arm for UK businesses should all go to plan.

Four. The Ten-Point plan to reduce energy and emissions

The UK’s Ten-Point Plan pledges to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and an Energy White Paper is due to be released in late 2021. The TPP includes:

  • Plans for improving renewable energy sources
  • Phasing out petrol and diesel cars by 2030
  • Creating over 250,000 green jobs by 2030
  • Giving incentives to green businesses

On top of that, 2020 and the pandemic proved many people worked from home effectively. 2021 is already seeing a shift with up to 60% of UK businesses planning to adopt hybrid working post-pandemic – which will result in a reduction in energy waste and emissions.

Five. Waste Management

There have been several stories in 2021 already about waste being sent abroad and dumped in countries like Turkey, which means the media spotlight is focused on how seriously businesses are taking waste management.

One way to make sure yours is disposed of ethically is to have your waste management chain audited by companies like Certified Sustainable.

Businesses can also receive tax relief for any recovery and recycling efforts they undertake through the Government website.

Six. Tax incentives

Business owners can take advantage of several environmental tax relief schemes, including  relief on the The Climate Change Levy (CCL). Non-commercial charities and small business who use little energy are exempt from paying the main rate of the CCL, and energy-intensive businesses who have a climate change agreement (CCA) in place with the Environment Agency can also expect a reduction in their CCL rates.

If the pandemic has hit your business hard, then 2021 is the year to take advantage of environmental tax relief schemes.

Are you implementing sustainability into your business?

If not, or if you want to make sure what you’re doing is compliant with current regulations, why not speak to Inteb?

We’re sustainability experts.

Let’s get the conversation started – call us now on 0151 601 3476