GRI backs EU proposal for separate pillar on non-financial reporting

Source: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), 15 January 2021

As part of the European Commission review of the Non-financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), it is exploring how new European sustainability standards could be created and managed.  The Commission has asked the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) to consider the changes needed to its governance, if it were to take on responsibility for creating non-financial reporting standards. Until now, EFRAG’s remit has been to advise on financial standards only. In this context, GRI has submitted a response to EFRAG’s consultation, setting out how GRI and the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) can contribute to the European solution. This includes addressing the need for one global set of sustainability reporting standards, in order to secure the necessary changes to achieve a sustainable economy.

GRI supports a proposed governance change by EFRAG that would introduce a two-pillar structure for financial and non-financial reporting, which is needed to ensure both are given equal weight and rigor.

Peter Paul van de Wijs, GRI Chief External Affairs Officer, said: “The GRI Standards, the most widely used sustainability reporting standards in Europe and beyond, are well positioned to play a key role in achieving the Commission’s aims to improve and expand non-financial reporting in the EU. Furthermore, our globally applicable, independent standards can be a bridge to achieving an international solution.

The EU has an opportunity to provide global leadership, as the first major jurisdiction to mandate sustainability reporting with the same rigor as financial reporting. GRI stands ready to work with EFRAG and the Commission to make this a reality.”