The Intersection of Climate-related Disclosures and Recycling: Towards a Sustainable Future

Alfred Tang

Alfred Tang

Nov 30, 20233 min read


The Intersection of Climate-related Disclosures and Recycling: Towards a Sustainable Future


In the global efforts to combat climate change and reduce plastic waste, two critical issues have emerged as focal points: climate-related disclosures and consumer confusion over recycling. While seemingly unrelated, these topics share common ground in their impact on sustainability and the urgent need for action. This article explores the intersection of climate-related disclosures and recycling, highlighting the importance of addressing both issues for a more sustainable future.

Climate-related Disclosures:

The issuance of IFRS Standards in the form of IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures has brought increased attention to the absolute gross greenhouse gas emissions of organizations. These disclosures provide crucial data on an entity's greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on climate change. It is essential to disclose these emissions in CO2 equivalent, using industry-based metrics such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol categories. This standardized approach allows for better comparison and analysis across industries and organizations.

Furthermore, IFRS S2 emphasizes the reassessment of climate-related risks and opportunities throughout an entity's value chain in response to significant events or changes in circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that organizations continuously evaluate and address their climate-related impacts, not only within their own operations but also in their investments, joint ventures, and subsidiaries. By considering the entire value chain, organizations can identify and mitigate risks while capitalizing on potential opportunities for sustainability.

Consumer Confusion over Recycling:

The battle against plastic waste is a pressing global issue, and ending consumer confusion over recycling is a critical aspect of this fight. Recycling rates for plastics vary significantly across countries, with the U.S. having a low rate of 4.5% compared to 32.5% across Europe and 44.2% in the U.K. This discrepancy highlights the need for standardized recycling practices and improved public awareness.

A significant factor contributing to consumer confusion is misleading labels that fail to provide clear instructions on recyclability. Studies have shown that 42% of individuals who are unsure about recyclability will take a guess, leading to contamination in recycling streams. To address this issue, it is crucial to establish clear and consistent labeling standards that inform the public about what can and cannot be recycled. By reducing confusion and increasing knowledge, individuals can make informed decisions and contribute to higher recycling rates.

Connecting the Dots:

While climate-related disclosures and recycling may seem distinct, they share a common goal: promoting sustainability. Both issues require standardized practices, clear communication, and active participation from organizations and individuals alike. By connecting these dots, we can create a more comprehensive and effective approach towards a sustainable future.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Enhance Climate-related Disclosures: Organizations should embrace the IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures framework and go beyond minimum reporting requirements. By providing transparent and comprehensive data on greenhouse gas emissions, organizations can drive accountability and inspire stakeholders to take necessary actions.
  • 2. Improve Recycling Education and Infrastructure: Governments and recycling authorities must invest in educational campaigns to raise awareness about correct recycling practices. Additionally, infrastructure improvements, such as expanded recycling facilities and accessible collection systems, can facilitate higher recycling rates.
  • 3. Foster Collaboration and Innovation: To address both climate-related disclosures and recycling challenges, collaboration between industries, governments, and civil society is vital. By sharing best practices, innovative solutions, and research, we can collectively strive towards a more sustainable world.


As we navigate the complexities of climate change and plastic waste, it is essential to recognize the interconnectedness of various sustainability issues. Climate-related disclosures and consumer confusion over recycling are two critical areas that demand our attention. By embracing transparent reporting, improving recycling education, and fostering collaboration, we can pave the way for a sustainable future. Together, let us strive towards a world where climate-related risks are mitigated, and recycling becomes second nature to all.

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