2020 Vision

In the article below, SLR’s Paul Wright (Technical Director – Environmental Management, Permitting and Compliance) muses on the changes the UK will see to environmental legislation in 2020, and what companies need to prepare for.

In the UK, 2020 looks set to be a year of change, as we will potentially have a new Government with their own environmental agenda, and we will (hopefully?!) resolve the Brexit issue once and for all.

Something we know with certainty will happen in 2020 will be the initiation of the four-year review process, which follows the publication of the revised Food and Drink Sector Best Available Techniques Reference (Bref) document - “Best Available Techniques Conclusions” (BATC) (published 4th December 2019).

The Food and Drink Bref introduces new industries within the Food and Drink sector, as well as the requirement for an Environmental Management System - with specific requirements relating to noise, odour and accidents. The introduction of a total nitrogen emission limit value for direct emissions to water will mean many operators will struggle to comply. The Environmental Regulators will be writing to all permitted Food and Drink operators outlining the process for complying with the revised Bref within the four-year period.

Additionally, the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) requirements mean that large organisations have to publish their carbon and energy consumption in their annual reports as of 1st April 2020. The SECR requirements apply to all large companies that meet two of the following criteria:

  • Employ 250 or more people
  • Have an annual turnover in excess of £36m
  • Have an annual balance sheet total greater than £18m

Other Bref notes will potentially commence their review periods ahead of their revision, these include:

  • Slaughterhouse and Animal By-Products Industries
  • Smitheries and Foundries Industries
  • Surface Treatment of Metals and Plastics
  • Large Volume Inorganic Chemicals (ammonia, acids and fertilisers)
  • Large Volume Inorganic Chemicals (solids and other industries)

Finally, a potential change of UK Government may influence the progress of DEFRA’s Clean Air Strategy, the Water Abstraction reforms, the Environment Plan, and Extended Producer Responsibility, but only time will tell.

SLR are available to assist you with all aspects of environmental legislation and regulation regardless of who’s in no. 10 or whether we’re in the EU or out. If you’d like to discuss, get in touch with Paul Wright at pwright@slrconsulting.com.

Key Contacts:

Paul Wright