CSR - Reporting and disclosure
- Build the capacity of the European investment community to use and integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) information
- Impact assessment for new legislative proposal
- Public consultation on non-financial reporting
- Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by EU companies
- Multistakeholder workshops (2009-2010)
- Existing requirements in European law
- Study of CSR reporting practices of EU companies (2011)
By disclosing social, environmental and governance information, enterprises often find that they can better identify and manage issues that influence their business success.
Good disclosure of non-financial information enables investors to contribute to a more efficient allocation of capital and better achieve longer-term investment goals.
It can also help to make enterprises more accountable and contribute to higher levels of citizen trust in business.
Build the capacity of the European investment community to use and integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) information
The EU has co-funded a programme to build the capacity of the European (and global) investment community to use and integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) information better into mainstream investment decision making. This may result in more accurate market valuations of companies and thus ultimately in the long-term sustainability of economies.
Through the development of guidance on best practices in responsible investment professional standards were enhanced .This was complemented with a capacity-building framework providing a navigation tool to existing best practice. Professional development was promoted within the investment community by creating a training programme on how to apply ESG information in investment strategies of investors to integrate ESG information in their investment decisions.
The programme was led by the International Corporate Governance Network and the secretariat of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, together with the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies.
Further information on the results
• Integrated Analysis [2 MB]
• What is responsible investment? [78 KB]
• Responsible investment and public policy [71 KB]
• Why be an active owner? [79 KB]
• Responsible investment and investment performance [89 KB]
• Responsible investment and fiduciary duty [77 KB]
• Building the capacity of investment actors to use ESG information [2 MB]
Impact assessment for new legislative proposal
The European Commission has made a commitment to “present a legislative proposal on the transparency of the social and environmental information provided by companies in all sectors” (Single Market Act, SEC(2011)467).
An impact assessment is currently ongoing to analyse different options. The Commission established an expert group to provide inputs to the impact assessment.
- Minutes of kick-off meeting, 11 July 2011 [39 KB]
- Minutes of 2nd meeting, 12 September 2011 [58 KB]
- Minutes of 3rd meeting, 30 September 2011 [33 KB]
Public consultation on non-financial reporting
In November 2010 the European Commission launched an online public consultation to gather views on the disclosure of non-financial information by enterprises. A total of 259 responses were received. Analysis of the responses.
Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by EU companies
A Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by EU companies (amending the Fourth and Seventh Accounting Directives) was adopted by the Commission on April 16th 2013.
The legislative text, the accompanying Impact Assessment Report and any other related documents are available on the website of DG MARKT.
Multistakeholder workshops (2009-2010)
Between September 2009 and February 2010 the European Commission hosted a series of multi-stakeholder workshops on the disclosure of environmental, social and governance (ESG) information.
Representatives from business, investment funds, trade unions, human rights groups, governments, media and consumer organisations all shared views on the importance of ESG disclosure, and put forward proposals for European policy in this field.
Existing requirements in European law
European law makes the following requirement on companies: "To the extent necessary for an understanding of the company's development, performance or position, the analysis [in the annual review] shall include both financial and, where appropriate, non-financial key performance indicators relevant to the particular business, including information relating to environmental and employee matters" (Directive 2003/51/EC EU Member States can chose to exempt small and medium-sized enterprises from this requirement.)
Study of CSR reporting practices of EU companies (2011)
This study, financed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs, provides an overview of current practices and challenges in sustainability reporting by European companies.