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Sustainability Reporting at Center of Europe's Green Deal

Quality disclosure requirements critical to EU's sustainable investment plan

Sustainability Reporting at Center of Europe's Green Deal

Quality disclosure requirements critical to EU's sustainable investment plan

Published 02-18-20

Submitted by Global Reporting Initiative

Global Reporting Initiative welcomes the European Green Deal as a global game changer that other economies should follow. With ambitious legislative changes backed by one trillion Euros investment over the next decade, the EU is signalling leadership in efforts to advance sustainable development and tackle climate change.

In a statement on 28 January, European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis provided details on the implementation of the Green Deal Investment Plan – including strengthening sustainability reporting by companies. He set out that:

  • The EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive is to be reviewed, with new requirements for companies to increase disclosures on sustainability risks and opportunities      

  • The EU will establish “clear reporting standards” based on the “best and most widely accepted elements of what exists”

  • The Green Deal has to be part of wider global efforts and funding commitments in order to “scale up sustainable finance at the level that the world needs”

GRI chief executive Tim Mohin said:

“Sustainable development is a singular and indisputable global priority. One important catalyst to a sustainable future is transparency: the ability for all stakeholders to evaluate the impacts and benefits of corporate activities. Sustainability disclosure was pioneered by GRI over twenty years ago and now is a fixture in nearly every multinational enterprise.

But more must be done. We are just ten years from the deadlines to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and need to accelerate progress under the Paris Climate Agreement. I applaud the leadership shown by the European Commission, which is now moving with urgency by committing one trillion Euros to fund the transition. 

While the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive has been successful, we believe reporting must improve. We stand ready to work with the EU to cooperate on these improvements, but we must not reinvent nor move backwards.  

With these actions, the EU is providing leadership for the world. We need to support the global common language for reporting, backed by strong policy and oversight. This will unlock trade and investment that is aligned with sustainable development.”

Read in full the statement by Vice-President Dombrovskis, who leads the Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA - the department responsible for EU banking and finance policy). He has appointed the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) to begin preparatory work on revising the Non-Financial Reporting Directive.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the independent international organization that helps businesses and other organizations understand and communicate their sustainability impacts.

The GRI Standards are freely provided as a public good and are used by thousands of companies around the world. Under the NFR Directive, most EU companies (59%) use GRI’s framework for their disclosures (source: Alliance for Corporate Transparency, 2018).

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Global Reporting Initiative

Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) vision is that reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance by all organizations becomes as routine and comparable as financial reporting. GRI accomplishes this vision by developing, continually improving, and building capacity around the use of its Sustainability Reporting Framework.

An international network of thousands from business, civil society, labor, and professional institutions create the content of the Reporting Framework in a consensus-seeking process.

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