12th May 2021
- Minister Troy launches public consultation on European Commission proposal to enhance the disclosures on sustainability matters including climate and environmental data
- Stakeholder Forum convened to discuss recently published proposal for Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive
The Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy TD, today launched a public consultation on the European Commission’s recently announced proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.
The proposal, which revises the current rules on Non-Financial Reporting substantially increases the detail of the information which must be provided in particular through the development of new EU sustainability reporting standards
To coincide with the public consultation, Minister Troy hosted a webinar to inform key stakeholders, including Irish businesses directly impacted, about the details of the proposal. It featured keynote remarks by Commissioner Mairead Mc Guinness and presentations by Elena Arveras of the European Commission DG FISMA and from Tomás Sercovich CEO of Business in the Community Ireland.
Speaking after the webinar, Minister Troy said:
“We all know how important the next ten years are if we are to address the climate change and biodiversity crisis. Last month, the Government introduced the Climate Action Bill – demonstrating our ambition and commitment in this regard. It’s for good reason climate change is a top agenda item both here and internationally, and part of this includes discussing company reporting.
“Today’s webinar brought together stakeholders from across the Irish business community to hear presentations on the recently published proposal. I would like to thank Commissioner McGuinness for taking the time to share her vision of the future of sustainability reporting, and Elena and Tomás for their very informative and insightful presentations. The proposal by the European Commission demonstrates the commitment of the European Union to addressing the challenges of climate change through innovative new sustainability reporting obligations.
“This is an important opportunity to reflect on what has been done and given the extraordinary global upheaval, forge an effective approach to raise the transparency of the environmental information provided by undertakings in all sectors and result in lasting change for the better.”
The public consultation on the proposal will be open until 23 June. Encouraging submissions to the public consultation, the Minister said:
“I would strongly encourage all stakeholders, particularly the Irish business community, to engage with the consultation and submit their views over the coming weeks. The input received from stakeholders will play an important part in the development of Ireland’s approach in the forthcoming negotiations on the proposal. It therefore is important that the Department hears your views on this significant topic.”
Notes to Editors
Rules for the disclosure of non-financial information by certain companies, including environmental reporting, have been in effect in Ireland (SI No 360/2017) since 2017 through the EU’s Non-financial Reporting Directive (Directive 2014/95/EU). The rules apply to companies that are large and have more than 500 employees.
One of the areas of EU action on climate change contained in the European Green Deal is the objective of mainstreaming sustainability in EU policies.
The Commission has reviewed the Non-financial Reporting Directive and proposed a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive on 21 April 2021 - see Sustainable finance package - European Commission (europa.eu).
The proposal will amend the existing reporting requirements of the NFRD. The proposal:
- extends the scope to all large companies (not just those with over 500 employees) and all companies listed on regulated markets (except listed micro-enterprises);
- requires the audit (assurance) of reported information;
- introduces more detailed reporting requirements, and a requirement to report according to mandatory EU sustainability reporting standards; and
- requires companies to digitally ‘tag’ the reported information, so it is machine readable and feeds into the European single access point envisaged in the capital markets union action plan.
The Department is seeking the views of stakeholders by way of public consultation on the proposal in order to inform Ireland’s negotiating position. The public consultation is available on the Department’s website at Public Consultation on EU Proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the deadline for responses is Wednesday, 23 June 2021.
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