New analysis of the non-financial disclosures presented on international webinars
- There is an urgent need to focus companies’ sustainability reporting on relevant and decision-useful information. This is critical to effective management of companies in the context of the transformation of the EU economy.
- Banks have an important role in facilitating the climate transition. However, in order to properly assess and disclose risks, they too need the right data. Current problems include granularity, reliability and comparability of information. Providing such information is particularly challenging for SMEs.
- The reform of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive and development of EU standards are set to address this. This reform is also at the center of the EU Green Deal, the EU sustainable finance agenda, and is key to achieve the EU objectives set in the Paris Agreement and the EU climate law
- Standardised data is the backbone of sustainability reporting.
Key issues to address in creating an EU reporting framework and standards include:
- Double and dynamic materiality: standards should focus on issues that significantly affect both the companies or the environment/society; and guide companies in determination of what is material from either perspective
- Sector-specific approach: standards need to be relevant for the company and the segment it represents; there is a small layer of sector-agnostic data that are relevant for all companies, while there is need to specify further details on sectoral level.
- Methodology and indicators: clarification and standardisation of the measurement and reporting system for key issues (i.e GHG scope 3, supply chain related matters)
- The role of SMEs: it is essential to include SMEs (through simplified or gradual approaches) in the sustainability reporting realm in order to ensure they gather critical data and enable banks to provide finance to their transformation
- Ensure connectivity of information:there is a strong need to focus on how the sustainability information, in particular hard data and analysis of risks, is used in corporate strategy and planning.