With ambitious legislative changes backed by a 1-trillion-euro investment over the next decade, the EU is signalling leadership in efforts to advance sustainable development and tackle climate change. Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) welcomed February 12 the European Green Deal as a global game changer that other economies should follow.
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 also establish clear reporting standards based on the best and most widely accepted elements of what exists. The Green Deal also 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.
“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,” says GRI chief executive Tim Mohin.
“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 euros to fund the transition.”
While the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive has been successful, the commission believes reporting must improve, and they stand ready to work with the EU to cooperate on these improvements.
“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,” Mohin adds.