Europe’s groundbreaking initiative on sustainability reporting

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Reporting and accountancy worlds are literally fizzing with excitement. The GRI, CSREurope and Accountancy Europe have produced a report that shows you:

  • The main requirements of the transposed national laws concerning the non-financial and diversity information Directive in Member States (scope, reporting topics, reporting approach etc)
  • The similarities and differences between the national-level transpositions of the Directive across Member States?

GRI’s CEO Tim Mohin states that Directive on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information (Directive 2014/95/EU) sets “a clear course towards greater business transparency and accountability on social and environmental issues”.

He frames the requirements with private sector action and commitment towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Some companies ‘get it’, others do not. It’s now down to us all to help companies understand the requirements and be transparent.

The report lays out business benefits of reporting, unsurprisingly. It describes state requirements and report components eg on diversity.

The UK for instance has already transposed or adapted the requirements of the Directive (we haven’t Brexited yet). A useful reminder of relevant sustainability polices from Europe is provided, such as:

  • The Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
  • The Circular Economy Package programme of action on material consumption and waste management.
  • The EU 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework sets three key targets (1990 baseline): at least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, boost the share of renewables to at least 27% and at least 27% improvement in energy efficiency.
  • The EU Cohesion Policy addresses a wide range of EU environmental objectives including EU’s environmental laws.
  • The EU Policy on CSR and the EC SDG Multi-Stakeholder platform.

Don’t forget that to oil the wheels of transparency there is in place the non-binding Guidelines on non-financial reporting (EC Guidelines), the High-level Expert Group (HLEG) on Sustainable Finance and the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The report notes that these “seek to increase the capacity of the private sector to become more sustainable and transparent, to integrate corporate engagement into transformative strategies”. Bravo.

All in all, it means that the future of corporate sustainability reporting is bright.


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