As to ESG-related standards, codes, behaviours and other requirements which do not have the force of law, these are so numerous and wide-ranging that it would not be practicable to set out here even a small portion of them as examples. Whether any particular requirements of that nature are relevant to a business will depend on many factors, including the size and type of business.
As to ESG-related obligations and regulation of businesses which do have the force of law, although they are only a part of the totality of ESG requirements, standards, codes and behaviours, they are set to keep increasing. Such legal measures are already considerable and wide-ranging, and the following offers no more than a flavour of just a very few of them that might be relevant to businesses. Such legal measures include:
• Companies Acts’ requirements for certain companies to issue statements and reports on dealing with various ESG issues (including climate-related, environmental and other non-financial matters such as social and employee-related matters disclosures, as well as financial matters);
• Bribery Act;
• Modern Slavery Act;
• Equality Act;
• Health & Safety at Work Act;
• Common law obligations/duties, e.g. the law relating to negligence and nuisance;
• Consumer Protection Act (product liability); and
• Environment Act, Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations, Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations, Water Resources Act and various other environment law statutes.