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The new CSR Reporting Directive of the EU

Starting with the fiscal year 2017, large listed entities with more than 500 employees will have to disclose relevant non-financial information on environmental and social matters such as human rights and anti-corruption practices.

The European Directive 2014/95/EU regarding “disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups” dates back to October 22, 2014. Most EU Member States have since transferred the Directive into national law. One of the last member states to do so was Germany with the „Gesetz zur Stärkung der nichtfinanziellen Berichterstattung der Unternehmen in ihren Lage- und Konzernlageberichten (CSR-Richtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz)“ brought into force on April 19, 2017.

You can find the EU Directive here.

To support companies with their non-financial reporting duties according to the EU Directive 2014/95/EU, the European Commission (EC) released a factsheet with frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the matter as well as a set of methodological guidelines.

 

FAQs

The FAQs answer basic questions like what will change? What information has to be disclosed and how? Who is subject to the reporting requirement of Directive/2014/95/EU? What has been the approach to disclosures related to conflict minerals? Is the issue of business and human rights addressed in the guidelines?

You can find the FAQs here.

 

Guidelines

Following the announcement of “non-binding guidelines on methodology for reporting non-financial information” in Article 2 of Directive 2014/95/EU, the EC published said guidelines in July 2017. According to the introduction, these guidelines do “not create new legal obligations”. They aim at helping “companies disclose high quality, relevant, useful, consistent and more comparable non-financial (environmental, social and governance-related) information in a way that fosters resilient and sustainable growth and employment, and provides transparency to stakeholders”. The guidelines also stress the importance of inter-relations between financial and non-financial information.

Using explanations and examples, the guidelines illustrate how to understand and execute the individual key principles of the Directive, which content is relevant, which reporting frameworks can be used, etc.

You can find the Guidelines here.

Carsten Girke

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