Sustainability reporting at center of EU’s Green Deal

Source: Global Reporting Initiative, 12 February 2020

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) welcomes the European Green Deal as a global game changer that other economies should follow. With ambitious legislative changes backed by €1 trillion investment over the next decade, the EU is signalling leadership in efforts to advance sustainable development and tackle climate change.

European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis recently 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 €1 trillion 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.