The Directive 2014/95/EU on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups amends the Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU. It requires companies concerned to disclose in their management report, information on policies, risks and outcomes as regards environmental matters, social and employee aspects, respect for human rights, anticorruption and bribery issues, and diversity in their board of directors. This will provide investors and other stakeholders with a more comprehensive picture of a company’s performance. This is a legislative initiative with relevance for the European Economic Area (EEA).
The new rules will only apply to some large companies with more than 500 employees. This includes listed companies as well as other public-interest entities, such as banks, insurance companies, and other companies that are so designated by Member States because of their activities, size or number of employees. The scope includes approx. 6 000 large companies and groups across the EU.
The Directive leaves significant flexibility for companies to disclose relevant information in the way that they consider most useful, or in a separate report. Companies may use international, European or national guidelines which they consider appropriate (for instance, the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, ISO 26000, ...).
The Directive entered into force on 6 December 2014. EU Member States have two years to transpose it into national legislation. In this context, the European Commission is organising informal transposition workshops to assist national authorities. The first transposition workshop took place in Brussels on 24 March 2015. The session proved to be a very helpful forum for sharing the state-of-play of the transposition across Member States, and discussing practical implementation issues. Many Member States have already started the transposition process and have concrete implementations plans, while some of them are already in a very advanced stage. The next transposition workshop is planned for September 2015.
- The Council of the European Union adopted the Directive during the 3334th Council meeting.
- The plenary of the European Parliament adopted the Directive.
- Proposal for a Directive amending Council Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies and groups.
- Opinion of the Impact Assessment Board
- Expert group on disclosure of non-financial information by EU companies
- Study on “Disclosure of Non-Financial Information by Companies” conducted by the Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services (CSES)
- The European Parliament adopted two resolutions acknowledging the importance of company transparency.
- A measure on company transparency was introduced in the Communication “A renewed strategy 2011–2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility”
- The measure on company transparency was announced in the Single Market Act Communication
- Public consultation on disclosure of non-financial information by companies