CDSB and CDP release handbook to meet challenges of environmental and climate reporting across the EU

The EU Environmental Reporting Handbook evaluates company disclosure in line with the Non-Financial Reporting Directive

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BERLIN, 19 February 2020: With the EU Green Deal aiming to increase environmental and climate disclosure, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) and CDP have today released an environmental reporting handbook to help companies improve their disclosure in line with the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (the Directive).

The Directive requires around 6,000 companies across Europe to disclose in their management report information on policies, risks and outcomes regarding environmental and social matters. However, environmental reporting to date has not been sufficient both in quality and quantity. In particular, investors have cited challenges around the comparability and reliability of information and difficulties finding non-financial information even when it is reported.  

Launched today, the EU Environmental Reporting Handbook helps companies learn from their peers to better understand how to report in line with the Directive. Examples from companies across EU member states including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Royal DSM and Société Générale illustrate how these companies are effectively disclosing information corresponding to the Directive’s five content categories on environmental matters.

To further facilitate disclosure, the Handbook helpfully maps each category to the corresponding requirements of the CDSB Framework, the TCFD recommendations, and the relevant questions of the CDP climate change questionnaire.  

The release of the EU Environmental Reporting Handbook comes at a time when non-financial reporting is increasingly gaining prominence worldwide.

For the first time ever, the top five risks in the WEF Global Risks Report 2020 were environmental. Meanwhile, results from CDP show that companies on the climate change A List have outperformed their peers on the stock market by 5.5% per annum according to STOXX, indicating a link between transparency and financial success.

The European Commission also announced that it will review the Directive in 2020 to improve disclosure by companies on climate and environmental information. As reporting requirements tighten, guidance such as the EU Environmental Reporting Handbook is crucial to support companies in improving their disclosures.

“To achieve the estimated €260 billion of additional annual investment needed to meet the current 2030 climate and energy targets, a massive mobilisation of not just public but also private sector capital is required. Clear, consistent and comparable disclosure will play a key role in this allocation of capital to ensure that investors are fully informed about the sustainability of their investment practices,” said Mardi McBrien, Managing Director, CDSB.

“The Handbook offers companies guidance on how to effectively approach disclosure including what can be learned from the experience of their peers. We have identified their efforts as good practice; however, we are still far from best practice. We look forward to working with the European Commission to strengthen the existing Directive with the objective of bringing environmental disclosure into the heart of financial decision-making.”

Mirjam Wolfrum, Director, Policy Engagement, CDP Europe:

“The EU has confirmed that they will review the Directive in 2020 as part of the EU Green Deal. This Handbook offers companies an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and improve their reporting practices in advance of any update to the Directive and more stringent non-financial reporting practices. Companies that already report information on environmental and climate change through CDP and the CDSB Framework are already one step ahead.”

The EU Environmental Reporting Handbook is supported by the LIFE Programme of the European Union.

The EU Environmental Reporting Handbook can be downloaded here: www.cdsb.net/nfrhandbook2020

Sign up for the launch webinar tomorrow (20 February) where CDP and CDSB will explore what good practice reporting in line with the NFRD looks like.  

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About the NFRD

EU law requires large companies to disclose certain information on the way they operate and manage social and environmental challenges. This helps investors, consumers, policy makers and other stakeholders to evaluate the non-financial performance of large companies and encourages these companies to develop a responsible approach to business. Directive 2014/95/EU lays down the rules on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large companies. This directive amends the accounting directive 2013/34/EU. Companies are required to include non-financial statements in their annual reports from 2018 onwards.

Further information on the NFRD can be found here.

About CDSB 

The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) was founded in 2007 and is an international consortium of business and environmental NGOs committed to advancing and aligning the global mainstream corporate reporting model to equate natural capital with financial capital. It does so by offering companies a framework for reporting environmental and climate information with the same rigour as financial information. In turn, this helps them to provide investors with decision-useful environmental and climate information via the mainstream corporate report, enhancing the efficient allocation of capital.  Regulators also benefit from compliance-ready materials. Collectively, CDSB aim to contribute to more sustainable economic, social, and environmental system. 

CDSB hosts the TCFD Knowledge Hub on behalf of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

About CDP

CDP is an international non-profit that drives companies and governments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests. Voted number one climate research provider by investors and working with institutional investors with assets of US$96 trillion, we leverage investor and buyer power to motivate companies to disclose and manage their environmental impacts. Over 8400 companies with some 50% of global market capitalization disclosed environmental data through CDP in 2019. This is in addition to the over 850 cities, states and regions who disclosed, making CDP’s platform one of the richest sources of information globally on how companies and governments are driving environmental change. CDP is a founding member of the We Mean Business Coalition. Please visit www.cdp.net or follow us @CDP to find out more.

Press enquiries:
Lesley McKenna, Communications Manager, 
Climate Disclosure Standards Board 
lesley.mckenna@cdsb.net +44 (0) 7825 409 060