The Environment Act

Passed in Nov. 2021, this landmark piece of legislation acts as the UK’s new framework of environmental protection...


Serving as enabling legislation for future regulations and policymaking, the Act commits the government to propose a series of new long-term environmental targets concerning air quality, water, biodiversity, resource efficiency and waste reduction before the end of 2022. 

These will be informed by the five internationally recognised environmental principles, which ministers have a legal duty to be guided by when making policy:

  • The integration principle
  • The prevention principle
  • The rectification at source principle
  • The polluter pays principle and 
  • The precautionary principle

Towards the second quarter of 2022, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is expected to expand on these five principles in a policy paper and we’ll be providing further updates as new information is released.



  • Long-term targets to improve air quality, biodiversity, water, and waste reduction and resource efficiency
  • A target on ambient pollution of PM2.5 concentrations, the most harmful pollutant to human health
  • A target to halt the decline of nature by 2030
  • Environmental Improvement Plans, including interim targets
  • A cycle of environmental monitoring and reporting
  • Environmental Principles embedded in domestic policy making
  • Office for Environmental Protection to uphold environmental law

Summary and more details can be found at GOV.UK


The government’s flagship ‘biodiversity net gain’ proposals have been solidified in law. It represents a significant change in approach when it comes to development planning and infrastructure projects.

Developers are required to deliver at least a 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) compared against the pre-development biodiversity value of the development site. The gains must be maintained for at least 30 years after completion of the development. These BNG provisions also apply to nationally significant infrastructure projects.

Local planning authorities will have to produce a biodiversity report every five years. The report should describe the action taken, its environmental impact, and a summary of action taken under the BNG policy.


The Environment Act sets out to solidify how we can work towards improving the natural environment for future generations, ensuring environmental protections are not weakened following the UK’s exit from the EU.

It is going to set out legally binding targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and tapping into the green economy so that the UK can become a world leader in this field. All businesses, big and small, public and private, will be legally bound to fulfil ecological goals by given deadlines.

As with all new laws and targets, you may be questioning its relevancy or complexity. That’s where we come in with comprehensive natural solutions that enable you to navigate the requirements while keeping your business life simple.

Through effective and timely planning with Wanderlands, your requirements will be easy to meet, and together we’ll be able to help our economy while creating a more sustainable future.

We’d love to hear from you.