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What are the ESG Reporting Requirements for UK businesses?

5th February 2024 - Written by Alan Dow

The Environment, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) landscape is rapidly evolving. In this article, Alan Dow, ESG Senior Consultant provides pointers on the UK position on ESG and importantly, implications for your UK businesses. 

The UK ESG Regulatory Landscape

With 2024 seeing the start of mandatory ESG reporting in the EU, things will be on a similar footing for some UK businesses this year. 

In 2023, Europe’s regulatory framework for ESG reporting, the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) came into force. National transposition is required by July, the first reports set to be published in 2025, using 2024 data.  Companies falling in this first phase of reporting, will be gathering and assessing their ESG metrics. 

The ESG landscape in the UK is catching up. The UK Sustainability Disclosure Standards (SDS) regime, the regulated system for UK businesses on sustainability reporting, will, subject to likely election outcomes, be presented this year. The SDS is expected to endorse the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) approach.

What’s involved?

This new regime will require UK businesses, initially the largest firms, to extend beyond corporate climate disclosures and address all material factors covered under environmental, social and corporate governance.  And when I say “address”, I mean more than acknowledging the factors, ultimately it all leads to “action”.  

Across the EU and UK, we now have greater regulatory clarity, and I conclude that it is time for action.   

ESG reporting taking climate change work and broadening the sustainability challenge

To date, with no mandatory reporting requirements across the complete ESG spectrum in place in the UK, the focus was towards climate change impacts, covered under TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures).  Future standards will require reporting across all aspects of ESG so that businesses can demonstrate that they have an integrated approach to sustainable care and performance. 

How can UK Business start now to prepare for mandatory ESG Reporting?

I have worked with many firms, who have not waited for regulation and acted to report their ESG standing, providing amongst other benefits, of evidence of global custodianship to employers and confidence to investors.  Others will not have started on this journey and progress will be variable.   

With the changing landscape, however, there is no time like the present to get a better understanding on what ESG topics will be material, be it water scarcity or assurances on migrant workers – your priorities may be different.  

Reporting, the foundation for action

Only with an understanding of what is material will businesses be able to prepare and publish their key ESG metrics, and demonstrate to all stakeholders, employees, customers, investors alike, and now to regulators too, that impacts are understood and importantly, that a plan of action is in place.  

If you are ready to get that plan in place and need support to keep it focused and appropriate, please contact Alan Dow, Senior ESG Consultant at

Alan Dow

30 years of environmental consulting experience, recently in the fields of Environmental Due Diligence, Property and Land Liability and Risk Assessment, and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) for the property and industrial sectors.