Environmental law: the next big talking point

Environmental law: the next big talking point

Our panel of experts, Emma Feeney, Catherine Davey, Simon Tilling, Robert Biddlecombe, Anita Lloyd, Professor Karen Morrow, Helen Simm and Victoria Turner consider what the ‘next big talking point’ will be in environmental law.

What do you think the ‘next big talking point’ will be in environmental law?

Emma Feeney: In recent years the debate around business sustainability has been gaining considerable momentum and we expect that this will continue to be the case for the years to come—even more so as environmental lawyers begin to grasp the importance of law in developing sustainable organisations.

In its recent Waste Prevention Programme for England the government emphasised the importance of moving towards a more ‘circular economy’ with the purpose of ensuring the sustainable development of the manufacturing sector. Under this new model, the manufacturing sector will need to consider the financial and environmental benefits of moving away from traditional manufacturing processes to processes that produce material with longer life expectancy.

In the same vein, the recently consulted upon Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme, highlighted the implications of climate change for businesses (ie transport and supply chain disruptions, flooding of buildings) and urged businesses to take measures in order not only to reduce their carbon footprint but also to proactively adapt to these challenges. A similar approach has been adopted by England’s first National Adaptation Programme, which proposed the roll out of a Business Resilience Health Check tool to help business identify the parts that are most vulnerable to climate change and prompt the necessary action. Recognising that business sustainability is not only dependent upon the environmental and financial performance of organisations but also on their engagement with society, BIS consulted on the development of a framework of actions on corporate responsibility. Under the proposals businesses are encouraged

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