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15 Dec 2020

Alliance for Corporate Transparency

Changing the rules of the game: leading NGOs and the European Parliament call for mandatory reporting obligations and standards for companies on sustainability issues

As shown by the research of the Alliance for Corporate Transparency, most companies fail to disclose relevant, material and comparable sustainability information, calling for the need to clarify and further specify reporting requirements for companies in Europe...

Focusing on the right data is critical to allow financial actors to redirect capital flows towards sustainable investments, and ensure better management of risks and opportunities stemming from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues by companies and investors alike. Moreover, it can positively contribute to increased corporate accountability for serious adverse impacts on the environment and society. The European Parliament is likely to approve this week a report calling to expand and define the corporate reporting obligations and connected this agenda to the upcoming proposals on sustainable corporate governance.

The complexity of the issue and multiple and varied interests in these developments could severely undermine the successful outcome of the reform and lead to the focus on information that does not provide useful insights to companies, investors and other stakeholders.

To address these obstacles and contribute to a meaningful EU process for the standardisation of reporting requirements in favour of comparable, concise and relevant disclosure, the members of the Alliance for Corporate Transparency have combined their expertise and aligned on key priorities for reform of the EU NFR Directive and development of possible future standards.

Outline of recommendations developed in further detail in the joint position include:

  1. Expansion of the scope of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive
  2. Alignment with the annual report
  3. Clarification of the double-materiality definition
  4. Integration of reporting requirements on governance and accountability
  5. Definition of general reporting requirements
  6. Specification of thematic and sector-specific reporting requirements
  7. Require mandatory assurance

Read here the full joint position

These proposals have been discussed and developed as part of the Alliance for Corporate Transparency, including the input and support from the following organisations:

Management and content partners: Frank Bold, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Future-Fit Foundations, WWF EU Office, Transparency International, Sustentia

Advisory group: CDP Europe, Themis Research, Germanwatch, SOMO, CORE Coalition, Oxfam, ShareAction, CDSB, Publish What You Pay, ECCJ, Global Witness