CMA launches Green Agreements Guidance to help businesses co-operate on environmental goals
Posted: 12th October 2023
The new Green Agreements Guidance, published today by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following extensive consultation, explains how competition law applies to environmental sustainability agreements between firms operating at the same level of the supply chain, to help them act on climate change and environmental sustainability.
The Green Agreements Guidance - formally, ‘Guidance on the application of the Competition Act 1998 to environmental sustainability agreements’ - sets out the key principles which apply, along with practical examples that businesses can use to inform and shape their own decisions when working with other companies on environmental sustainability initiatives. It explains that the CMA does not expect to take enforcement action against agreements that are in line with the guidance. There is also a chapter dealing specifically with how agreements tackling climate change will be considered.
The guidance follows the environmental sustainability advice the CMA provided to the UK government in March 2022. As part of that work, the CMA found businesses wanted more clarity about what is, and what is not, legal when working together towards environmental sustainability goals. The CMA publicly consulted on a draft of this guidance earlier this year, and this final version reflects the useful comments received from a wide range of interested people and businesses.
This is part of a wider awareness campaign which the CMA has launched today which includes a video and a roadmap. The roadmap focuses on different categories of risk to help businesses navigate what they need to consider as a first step before reading the full CMA guidance document or seeking legal advice.
The Green Agreements Guidance published today is part of a wider range of documents on agreements between businesses at the same level of the supply chain (so-called ‘horizontal agreements’). This follows work from the CMA’s Sustainability Taskforce after it published its environmental sustainability advice to the UK government in March 2022.
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