Europe

This overview provides guidance on the concepts of sustainability and corporate responsibility as understood under UK law, including the institutional framework for sustainable development. This guidance is relevant to all SDGs and in particular to SDGs 9, 11, and 12.
This Practice Note covers the main pillars of access to justice in environmental matters in the UK under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention). Access to justice and the ability to effectively challenge environmental decisions are key to SDG 16.
The Consolidated Versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the Eu-ropean Union (the EU Treaties) set out the constitutional framework for the EU. The Treaties do not attempt to define sustainable development or impose an EU-wide adoption of a common definition. This practice note sets out the approach to sustainable development at the EU institutional level. This has an impact on all SDGs but in particular, SDGs 9, 10 and 13.
UK mechanisms touching on sustainable development are generally based on, and have as their over-arching objective, some variation of the so-called “Brundtland definition”. These mechanisms also widely reference the three interconnected ‘pillars’ of sustainable development, also known as the ‘triple bottom line’ of sustainable development. The UK approach has a bearing on all SDGs and in particular, SDGs 9, 10 and 13.
This Practice Note from LexisPSL considers a number of interesting developments in EU environmental law and policy as it relates to energy efficiency, waste, environmental reporting and chemicals. It also serves to highlight a number of deadlines for relevant implementation and reforms as they relate to companies. These measures will help to advance SDG 7 Energy, SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities and SDG 12 Sustainable consumption and production.
This Practice Note from LexisPSL explains when environmental impact assessments (EIA) are required in the UK; the EIA procedure; the relationship between EIA and planning applications; the Rochdale Envelope; challenging an EIA decision and the court’s discretion to quash; EIA for nationally significant infrastructure projects; and upcoming amendments to the EIA process. EIAs advance SDG 11.3 to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries.
In the UK, average income growth fell to just 0.7% in the year running up to the general election in June, research from think tank the Resolution Foundation has found. The data illustrates the challenges faced by target SDG 10.1 to progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average.
Millenials are much more connected and IT savvy than the Baby Boomers
Companies need to adjust their recruitment and retention practices to take into account the culture and needs of the new millennial generation. This is important for advancing SDG 8.6 to substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.
This Practice Note from LexisPSL explains, for in-house lawyers, section 54 of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015, which contains a requirement for large commercial organisations (total turnover of £36m or more) to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement. The process of compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 is a core plank of advancing SDG 8.7 and the taking of immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking.
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