The time is now for company non-financial reporting

Author: Richard Howitt, member of the European Parliament, Published on: 18 February 2014

It may seem incredible that anyone can continue arguing that corporations should not be responsible for their impacts on wider society. Yet that was effectively the argument put forward by some European Union member states last week when they attempted to block the EU legislation on non-financial reporting for large companies...[T]he proposals on the table were reasonable and struck a fair balance between promoting business transparency without impairing business competitiveness...Major European companies such as IKEA, Unilever and Carrefour have all given their public support, as has the "Global Reporting Initiative"...Businesses that want to succeed recognise that they need to change and adapt to the demands posed by climate change, persistent inequality in the world and the dangers of instability that arise from social disintegration...[A] mandatory approach to company non-financial reporting will provide a level playing field between companies...Those Member States seeking to remove the teeth of this legislation are still at the negotiating table and MEPs will continue to push for progress before the end of the current terms of the European Parliament and Commission.

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