Daniel James, Principal Consultant - Transaction Advisory Services, discusses the benefits of undertaking an Environmental, Health & Safety compliance check to provide direction in the face of changing legislation.
As the UK enters a new political era, uncertainty remains around the government’s future approach to environmental and health & safety legislation, and - importantly - how any changes will impact UK businesses.
As it stands, environmental and H&S laws formerly part of EU legislation were transposed into UK legislation as part of the Repeal Bill. However, the withdrawal on 31st January marked the start of an eleven-month transitionary period while an agreement on the future relationship is sought. Until agreed, what happens after this period remains unknown.
For UK businesses, this brings an unwanted level of uncertainty. Particularly for those that often depend on regulator input to guide their environmental compliance, specifically: environmental permitting, emissions, chemical use (REACH), energy use (ESOS and subsequent schemes), waste management and contamination.
To reduce this uncertainty, RPS has been supporting clients with Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) compliance checks. Through a workplace inspection, and in partnership with company management, our specialist teams provide businesses with robust reports and tailored action plans. We can additionally support clients during and post-implementation to give confidence that any required changes are being appropriately actioned at both operational and managerial level.
The impact of changes to the ESOS and EU ETS schemes
RPS recently advised on the proposed buyout of a large consumer products manufacturer within the UK.
The client’s challenge was to establish from the outset the environmental compliance risks they could face should the acquisition proceed.
RPS provided the client with guidance on the recently closed (December 2019) Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and recent legislation changes for energy intensive businesses. It was identified during our review that this specific area had the biggest potential impact to the proposed buyout due to the energy intensive nature of the manufacturing process and the subsequent emissions generated.
We addressed the client’s challenge by providing a summary of current practices against an interpretation of the latest UK Government and European transitionary guidance. This allowed the client to make an informed decision on the proposed acquisition.
Navigating changing chemical regulations
We helped our client navigate complexity surrounding changes to the ‘Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH)’ Regulations. The client blends chemicals as part of a manufacturing process and exports a significant amount of manufactured product into the European market. They faced concerns that this would have to cease or would be heavily restricted post January 31, 2020.
RPS provided a dedicated action plan to steer the business towards compliance with the updated requirements and offered to provide environmental compliance awareness training to employees.
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