New Regulations Place Sustainability and ESG at the Center of National and Global Business Competitiveness

By David Bennell

Your strategy needs to consider current and future sustainability and ESG rules and regulations and market realities.

2023 is the year when multiple sustainability-related regulations will come fully online. Compliance with rules and regulations at the local, state, federal, and international levels has already begun and will continue to impact corporate strategy. To accelerate your business, you need to not only be on top of these rules and regulations but also be ahead of them.

Let’s take the example of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are used in hundreds of thousands of products, from nonstick pans to water-repellent sports gear, to stain-resistant rugs. The issue is that PFAS do not degrade or degrade very slowly, giving them the name “forever chemicals.” These forever chemicals are found in soil, waterways, food sources, and in our bodies – and they are associated with serious health conditions, including cancer and reduced birth weight.

Several states have begun to ban the use of PFAS and have put in place regulations that are disrupting product development, product selection, and corporate strategy for food brands, major retailers, toy manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, apparel and footwear companies, and many others.
For example, as of January 1, 2023, Maine requires that companies report PFAS in products by quantity to the state, and the state will ban all PFAS-containing products by 2030. In July 2023, California will prohibit the sale or distribution of products containing intentionally added PFAS inproducts designed for children under 12 years of age. California is also implementing a ban in 2023 for PFAS in paper, paperboard, and certain food packaging. And, on December 31, 2023, New York State will ban the manufacture, distribution, sale, and marketing of apparel containing intentionally added PFAS.

The impact of these rules and regulations is far-reaching. Does your current strategy consider these rules and regulations? If not, should it?

It is critical that you look at current and future sustainability and ESG rules and regulations and market realities when developing your strategy. If you don’t, you will be forced to react rather than accelerate your business from a place of knowledge – or even opportunity.


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sustainability strategies