New transparency rules on social responsibility in EU.
September 29th, the Council of the European Union adopted a directive for the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies. The Directive was previously approved by the European Parliament earlier in 2014.
Reducing CO2-emissions and carbon footprint is fast becoming increasingly important as part of companies’ CSR policies.
With the Directive, companies will have to disclose information in the most useful way. Including mandatory reporting on energy is an important step towards making the energy market more consumer friendly. Only through companies’ consistent reporting on energy, can stakeholders evaluate companies’ CO2-emissions and commitment to minimize their carbon footprint. Increasing energy transparency will change energy behaviour.
“Higher transparency through disclosure of non-financial information will enhance the accountability of large firms towards European citizens. It will allow investors to reward socially responsible business conduct, thus promoting sustainable growth,” said the Italian minister of economy and Finance Pier Carlo Padoan.
The new provisions will be applicable to public interest entities over 500 employees. Public interest entities are companies, such as listed undertakings, banks, insurance companies or undertakings which are of significant public relevance because of the nature of their business, their size or their corporate status. Small and medium-sized companies will be exempted from the new reporting obligation. Some 6,000 public interest entities in the EU would fall under the scope of the directive.
ECOHZ sent an open letter to the European Commission 1st of September 2014 where we asked the EU to promote a coherent approach to how companies report consumption of renewable energy and reinforce Guarantees of Origin as the key disclosure tool. Guarantees of Origin document that companies use electricity from renewable energy sources. A wide range of European companies, that seek validated disclosure tools, use Guarantees of Origin. Guarantees of Origin should be the standard that companies use to document their CO2-emissions and minimize their carbon footprint. This would allow companies to demonstrate their commitment across borders in a recognised manner and honor the efforts of member states that have already started to implement Guarantees of Origin
Tom Lindberg, Managing Director
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