The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina have produced a joint position paper presenting paths to climate neutrality. In it, the Leopoldina and the RNE highlight options for action to effect the changes needed within society, at political level and in the business world, in view especially of the urgency and the historic dimensions of the transformation we face. With the paper, the Leopoldina and the RNE are consciously not seeking to engage in a race to set the most ambitious target. They are instead offering an options paper for setting the right course and covering the key implementation steps. The position paper was presented at the RNE’s 20th annual conference held on 8 June 2021 and was handed over to the Federal Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel. Read More
Today (17/6/2021), The Belgium and German Advisory Council for Sustainable Development – together with the EEAC Network – organized a webinar on corporate sustainability reporting. During his opening address EEAC Network Chairman, Arnau Queralt Bassa, said that he considers companies to be key actors for achieving the SDGs and the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. However, I said, several reforms are needed if those companies are to contribute effectively to the goals!
He underlined the importance of a legal obligation for most companies to report on their possible or existing adverse impacts on sustainability. It was therefore, according to Arnau Queralt Bassa, no surprise that he welcomed the Commission’s initiative to come forward with stronger transparency requirements on companies regarding their impacts in terms of human rights violations, environmental pollution and climate change, in addition to employees and customers interests and alongside the financial interests of their shareholders.
According to the EEAC Chairman the proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive would provide marked actors with a level playing field and legal clarity on the EU internal market, and would provide reliable and comparable sustainability information needed by investors and other stakeholders. Furthermore, Queralt Bassa continued, companies that consider environmental and social aspects, while being in touch with their stakeholders regarding these matters, will be better able to identify economic risks arising from sustainability issues, and therefore will also be able to manage those risks more effectively.
Arnau Queralt Bassa also acknowledged that some business representatives fear that the reporting costs will become too high. These concerns should not just be dismissed for the sake of pushing sustainability, he added. In his conclusion the EEAC Chairman raised the question whether the current and proposed corporate sustainability reporting initiatives by the EU will be able to provide improved information on the exposure of companies to sustainability risks and impacts, without putting too much burden on the motors of our European economy….
The Belgium Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD), the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and the EEAC Network organized a webinar entiteled: “Corporate sustainability reporting: recent developments”. The webinar took place on June 17th.
Since the launch of the European sustainable finance action plan, the financial sector is asking for improved information on the exposure of companies to sustainability risks. Diverse stakeholders think that companies should better account for their social and environmental impacts. Moreover, companies facing increasing transparency requirements consider that the related reporting costs are too high.
The EU Commission’s proposal for a new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), and the proposal for an EU sustainability reporting standard-setting should address these various expectations and concerns.
Aim of the webinar
To give you further information about these initiatives and to highlight their implications for the financial sector, for stakeholders of sustainable development and for enterprises, the FRDO-CFDD, RNE and EEAC organized the webinar. The morning session focused on the EU reforms for sustainability reporting, and the afternoon session focused on their practical implications at the national level.
Over 150 people particiapted in the session on June 17th. Follow-up documentation and presentions will be made available on the website soon.