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Ius Omnibus responds to the Portuguese Competition Authority’s Public Consultation – Good Practice Guide on Sustainability Agreements

As part of the Public Consultation on the Guide to Good Practices on Sustainability Agreements published by the Portuguese Competion Authority (AdC), Ius Omnibus submitted significant comments that are worth highlighting.

Sustainability agreements correspond to horizontal agreements between competitors, decisions by associations of companies and other concerted practices whose purpose is to increase or create sustainability in each context (e.g., agreement between two companies to eliminate deforestation from their production chains – book producers agreeing to only produce books with recycled paper).

However, these agreements include a wide range of different types of agreements, including agreements to mitigate and eliminate climate change and mixed agreements, something that is not reflected in the current version of the Good Practice Guide.

Agreements for the mitigation and elimination of climate change are generally all agreements that contribute to combating climate change (e.g. agreements between distribution companies to replace petrol/diesel vehicles with electric vehicles).

Mixed agreements include different but interconnected objectives, such as the fight against climate change and the biodiversity crisis. In this sense, there are cases where sustainability agreements can generate benefits both in the context of combating climate change and in the context of environmental protection (i.e., biodiversity protection).

The inclusion of the former is essential because these agreements help to reduce the negative externalities produced by economic activities such as the production, distribution or consumption of goods and services, which in turn contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. And the inclusion of the latter is equally crucial because it not only reflects the complexity of the interdependence of the various topics that underlie the scope of sustainability, but also contributes to the cumulative reduction of negative externalities produced by companies in the environmental and climate context.

We have addressed several points that we believe are essential to improving the quality of the guidelines mentioned above. 

Ius Omnibus’ comments reflect the growing awareness of the importance of sustainability in the business sector – both in the context of protecting the environment and in the fight against climate change. By addressing issues of clarity, inclusion of sub-types of agreements, and accountability, Ius is contributing to a broader and more inclusive dialogue on how companies can operate more sustainably.

Ius Omnibus hopes that the suggestions made will be considered in the final version of the Practical Guide to Sustainability Agreements, fostering an environment where responsible business practices are the norm rather than the exception.

Stay tuned for updates on this public consultation and participate in this movement in favour of a more sustainable and fair future for all.