New guidance published by the CMA will help businesses understand how they can collaborate on environmental sustainability goals without breaking the law.
The new Green Agreements Guidance, published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), 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 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. For companies which are in doubt, the CMA is operating an open-door policy where businesses (and representative bodies such as trade associations), non-governmental organisations and charities can approach the CMA for informal guidance on proposed environmental sustainability initiatives. You can read more about the CMA open-door policy here.
For further information on the guidance you can watch a video here.There is also a roadmap for businesses which focuses on different categories of risk to help 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 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.