Transparency, consistency and comparability in the social and environmental information accompanying company financial statements are increasingly seen as important in terms of strengthening the trust of investors and stakeholders in those companies.
Useful sustainability reporting guidelines and principles at international level are already being implemented successfully by leading companies, but to gain traction, many have suggested that these systems need to be supported by a clear legal framework. At EU level, some Member States have already introduced legislative disclosure provisions that go beyond the current European requirements. As a result, the legal frameworks vary to a great extent across the EU, which can lead to a lack of consistency of reporting practices and make benchmarking between companies difficult.
To reduce this asymmetry and its potential impact on the Single Market, the European Commission, as announced in its 2011 Single Market Act Communication, is looking at how to improve the disclosure regime of non-financial information by companies in the EU, and with this in mind published in April 2013 an amendment to the Fourth and Seventh Company Law Directive in order to improve the transparency of certain large companies. The Fourth Company law Directive was already amended in 2003 to require companies to include information relating to environmental and employee matters in their annual report, but according to the EU executive, the current provision proved to leave a too broad discretion to companies when deciding whether or not to include sustainability information in their reports.
MEPs Richard Howitt and Raffaele Baldassarre are therefore delighted to invite you to what promise to be a lively debate at a high level multi-stakeholder roundtable jointly organised by Aviva, ACCA and Eurosif, entitled Non-financial information disclosure: towards a more sustainable and comparable corporate reporting regime? on 4 June 2013, at the European Parliament in Brussels.
A distinguished line-up of experts from diverse horizons will first of all present the newly published Directive on non-financial disclosure and exchange views on the potential impact of the various proposals for companies and their stakeholders. The second panel will enlarge the debate and discuss the way forward for corporate reporting.
RSVP by 27 May to firstname.lastname@example.org (late registration will not be accepted, the security rules of the European Parliament are strict).
If you do not have a permanent pass for the European Parliament, please indicate in your RSVP, your:
- Full name
- Date of birth
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- Residence (full home address)
3pm: Welcome speech MEP Howitt, rapporteur on CSR for the Employment Committee
3.15pm: Improving non-financial reporting at EU level (reacting to the new EC proposals) – moderated by Helen Brand, Chief Executive, ACCA
- Didier Millerot, Head of the Financial Reporting Unit, DG MARKT, Presentation of the proposal
- Michel Bande, Senior Executive Vice-President Sustainable Development at Solvay
- Filip Gregor, Board Member of the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ)
- Caroline Rees, Founder and President, Shift
- Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Q&As (15 mins)
4.30pm: The future of corporate reporting, towards better corporate governance and a more integrated and international framework? Moderated by Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors
- Francois Passant, Executive Director, Eurosif , Presentation of the survey on Non financial reporting: what investors expect from public policy reforms
- Ralf Frank, Managing Director, DVFA Society of Investment Professionals in Germany
- Xavier Bonnet, chef du service du Service de l’économie, de l’évaluation et de l’intégration du développement durable (SEEIDD) Commissariat Général au Développement Durable (CGDD), tbc
- Philippe Peuch-Lestrade, Deputy to the CEO, International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)
5.30pm: Keynote speech Commissioner Barnier, invited
5.40pm: Representative Lithuanian Presidency, name tbc
5.50pm: Concluding remarks by MEP Baldassarre, rapporteur on CSR for the Legal Affairs Committee
6pm: Cocktail reception