From the 1st of October 2022, establishing a climate plan and submitting a summary thereof became a new mandatory admissibility requirement for large companies and / or energy-intensive companies applying to most VLAIO subsidy programmes. The climate plan itself is an explanatory document containing the key actions a company will take in the coming years to become more sustainable in the broad sense. Among others, this includes the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the selected steps in a company’s energy transition. Interested in finding out the precise contents and specifications of a full climate plan, please find this information in our previous PwC article.
The climate plan, the outcome of a (changing) climate policy
The requirement of providing a summary of your climate plan to VLAIO comes in the wake of several sustainability goals that have been set on both a European and regional level. On a European level, the European Union wants to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050 by creating an economy with net-zero GHG emissions. Hereto, it has launched its ‘2050 long-term strategy’. This strategy is at the core of the European Green Deal aiming to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. Furthermore, it also follows the commitment made in the Paris agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C. As a consequence, the Member States are looking for ways to accomplish these goals.
Indeed, the Flemish regional government already developed in December 2019 the ‘Flemish Energy and Climate plan 2021-2030’ which contains over 300 measures in the fight against climate change, targeting almost all sectors. Last year, the Flemish government took additional measures on top of the already existing ones, stating the ambition to reduce GHG emissions in the non-ETS sectors by 40% by 2030 (instead of 35% in the original plan) compared to 2005. This would be applicable to all sectors except for the heavy industry, energy production and aviation as these fall under the ‘EU Emissions Trading System’ (EU ETS).
Assistance with developing an explanatory document of your climate plan
For certain VLAIO grant applications, it has become a mandatory and eligibility criterion to submit an explanatory document of your climate plan. To guide and assist you with setting up such a plan, the PwC Incentives Hub can support you. Indeed, we will not only help you be in line with the latest Vlaio requirements, but also go one step further and assist you in establishing the foundations of your company’s sustainability strategy. This service is available not only to energy-intensive companies, but also to other companies, across different sectors. In parallel to completing this document, we can also support you in preparing and submitting your grant application altogether.
Additional guidance to establish your company’s first Climate Plan
In case your company does not yet have a climate plan, PwC can assist you in identifying the specific climate objectives that are necessary for the preparation of a full climate plan. To prepare this, our team of ESG experts will conduct an in-depth analysis of your corporate climate commitment (GHG emissions, energy use, etc.) and identify a clear roadmap to reach climate neutrality.
Are you currently looking for ways to alleviate the financial burden of your activities through Flemish funding, but not yet familiar with the climate plan requirements? Please reach out to Tom Wallyn, Guillaume Goeders, or Bart Wyns of the PwC Incentives Hub. Our team of experts is ready to support you in navigating your way through this new requirement.