The CO2 Performance Ladder and the European Green Deal

In the coming weeks, we will publice a series of articles to explain how the CO2 Performance Ladder can contribute to European climate policy. Today we start with the European Green Deal: we've all heard about it, but what exactly is it?

The European Green Deal (EGD): we've all heard about it, but what exactly is it? In a nutshell, the EGD is the European Union's overarching green growth strategy to drive the transition to a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring that:

  •  the EU is carbon neutral by 2050,
  •  economic growth is decoupled from the use of resources,
  •  no people or place is left behind.

The EGD is a collection of policy initiatives designed to achieve those goals by integrating climate and sustainability into all EU policies.

  •  The Climate Law and Fit for 55 package set greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 and 2050.
  •  The EGD investment plan aims to mobilise at least EUR 1 trillion over the next 10 years.
  •  The Emissions Trading System (ETS) is being strengthened, and a new one introduced for transport and buildings.
  •  The updated Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is more ambitious, with carbon budgeting as its basis, and it requires the largest energy users to implement an energy management system.
  •  The EU Taxonomy aims to stimulate sustainable investments by defining what can be considered green, looking at six sustainability themes and no less than 72 economic activities.
  •  The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) expands and deepens the reporting requirements for European companies.  

What are the implications?

There’s a lot for companies to deal with clearly, especially for large companies. However, there is still a lot of focus on ensuring accessibility for Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs), and not all guidelines apply to all organisations. Even if your business doesn’t fall under these directives, it is still advisable to follow these standards as a guideline. It’s always good to know where you stand as a company, not only financially, but also in terms of sustainability.

The hope is, of course, that these guidelines will facilitate the climate transition by stimulating transparency and ambition. The more insight organisations have into their greenhouse gas emissions, the better they can draw up and implement their reduction strategies. The more insight, the better organisations communication will be. The more transparent organisations are, the better they can cooperate with potential customers or partners to promote sustainability.

What role does the CO2 Performance Ladder play in this?

 Insight, reduction, transparency and cooperation - these are the core principles of the CO2 Performance Ladder. They are also the underlying goals of the policy initiatives mentioned above. The CO2 Performance Ladder can contribute to the concrete implementation of European climate policy. By implementing the Ladder as a CO2 management system within an organisation, companies can take an important step towards completing the EED or climate aspects of the CSRD, for example. In the Netherlands, the Ladder already counts as an alternative fulfilment of the EED. By using the Ladder as a procurement instrument, European governments can stimulate the green economy, an important part of the European Green Deal, especially the taxonomy and CSRD. So Europe is setting the agenda, and the Ladder is helping to make it a reality.