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What recent environmental policies can affect California businesses?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Environmental Law

Companies in California currently conduct business in compliance with various environmental laws, imposing requirements based on their operation’s nature. Most companies require permits and other documentation for water use or pollution, especially if some business factors need disclosure.

Even now, California continues to develop policies to hold corporations accountable for their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. Doing so could help address environmental and climate-impacting business practices. Two bills stand out because of their impact on well-known businesses that operate locally and abroad:

  • SB-253 requires corporations earning over $1 billion to report their impact on global emissions that can contribute to climate change risks. This policy affects around 5,300 corporations, forcing them to file annual reports.
  • SB-261 forces companies with over $500 million in revenue to document the financial risks their operations can face due to climate change. This policy includes risks faced by businesses conducted within the state and across the globe.

These policies include all companies and businesses that fall within the revenue qualifications. Aside from reporting requirements, these policies could also expose organizations with severely high carbon footprints by making the information accessible to the public.

Using transparency to pinpoint climate risks

These policies might not directly impose actions, but they can force high-earning corporations to be transparent about how their business impacts climate and environmental risks. These details could also reveal which corporations make genuine efforts to minimize emissions.

Nevertheless, this is only the beginning. These bills could open doors to potential developments in addressing the effects of climate change. For each corporation or business affected by these policies, compliance is necessary. Doing so can help uphold protections provided by environmental laws and control risks that might lead to severe financial obligations.