Presentation of initial results: the state of corporate sustainability disclosure under the EU NFR Directive conference

The conference will see the presentation of the first results from the assessment of the corporate implementation of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive carried out by the Alliance for Corporate Transparency. The project has assessed the reports of 105 European companies from the Energy, ICT and Health Care sectors in the initial round held in 2018.

The presentation will be followed by a series panel discussions that will focus on the ongoing review of the Directive, the Sustainable Finance Action Plan and related legislative proposals, as well as the current practices and challenges of corporate sustainability reporting. Confirmed speakers include representatives from the European Commission, NGOs, corporations and the European Parliament, among them Alain Deckers, Head of Unit of Accounting and Financial Reporting at DG FISMA, Sirpa Pietikainen MEP and Susanne Stormer, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at NovoNordisk.

The conference follows on from the publication of the Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, in which the EU Commission issued a series of legislative proposals aimed at reorienting capital flows towards sustainable investments and managing risks stemming from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues. Achieving the objectives of the Action Plan and related legislative files depends on the quality of information disclosed by public companies on key sustainability issues and this critical information is indispensable to facilitate investors’ analysis and factor sustainability in their decision making. It is also required for ensuring that other stakeholders can hold corporations accountable.

The NFR Directive came into effect this year, and while it was a first step in the right direction, it falls short in specifying which concrete information must be disclosed. There is a wide divergence in the quality of companies’ non-financial reporting, a problem that the Alliance project aims to counter by establishing what information is crucial to understand a company’s sustainability risks and impacts and helping companies to improve on their disclosure of this information. Further information and the option to register for the event can be found at the following link: http://bit.ly/2KBoQ6m.

Following the conference we will open up a round of consultation in order to review and calibrate the research methodology, before the project enters into the next phase, in which around 1000 companies from across Europe will be assessed. These consultations will be held in Spring 2019 and engage experts from all sectors, including multinational corporations, NGOs and investors. The results from the consultation will be used to inform the calibration of our research methodology in order to ensure that it best reflects the most important issues which need to be disclosed in order for all stakeholders to understand a company’s impact on the environment and society.

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