The European Commission has published a consultationon methodology for reporting non-financial information with the aim to assist listed companies, banks, insurers and other public-interest entities with CSR reporting. The results of this consultation will feed into a reporting guidance document that the European Commission is preparing ahead of the implementation of the CSR Directive – due in 2017.
The Commission’s consultation enquires about a series of issues, ranging from how the guidelines should relate to existing frameworks such as UN Global Compact to how to disclose KPIs or even the type of information that the guidelines should address (materiality, comparability, fairness, etc.) The consultation also asks whether specific sectoral issues such as supply chain management should be part of the guidelines.
Albeit non-binding, the Commission expects these reporting guidelines will help companies disclose “relevant, useful and comparable non-financial information”.
What does this mean for businesses?
Companies under the regime of the CSR Directive have the opportunity to provide their views on the areas where guidance is required to facilitate the implementation of the CSR reporting requirements. Likewise, they will also have the opportunity to signal those areas which are best treated individually by companies.
The CSR Directive, adopted in 2014, requires listed companies with more than 500 people or otherwise of public interest to report on environmental issues such as use of renewable and/or non-renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and air pollution. The reporting also extends to social and employee policies, respect of human rights, anticorruption policies and diversity in the board of directors.