Milestones in Climate Reporting – New CSRD Proposal finalized

For months the European Parliament and the EU Council have been negotiating, and now they have been finalized: the CSRD. These new rules for sustainability disclosures will tens of thousands of companies have to publish in the future.

The new proposal released at the end of June 2022 addresses shortcomings in the existing rules on disclosure of non-financial information. The existing regulation has formerly been considered insufficient to be properly taken into account by investors. But there is hope on the horizon! The new CSRD takes climate reporting to a historic new level. Find out the most relevant insights on the new CSRD proposal:

1. Introduced more detailed reporting requirements

Transparency is key. The CSRD makes sustainability-related information about companies more readily available, of higher quality and more comparable. Large companies are obligated to report on social and environmental issues, human rights as well as governmental factors. The disclosures must now be externally audited and made in a separate section of the annual report.

2. Over 50,000 companies in Europe soon to be affected by CSRD

Affected are large companies with over 500 employees that are already subject to the Non Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). They will first have to prepare the reports for the 2024 financial year and publish them in 2025. Additionally, all other large companies will be required to report one year later. Finally, capital market-oriented SMEs will be included from the 2026 financial year.

Nature

From which points in time does the CSRD apply to companies?

Furthermore, non-European companies, which are generating a net turnover of €150 million in the EU and are having at least one subsidiary or branch in the EU, are required to report on their ESG impacts.

3. CSRD aligned with global reporting standards

The new CSRD guidelines will require companies to report in line with mandatory EU sustainability reporting standards. For example: the suggestions of the TCFD as well as the EU Taxonomy and the existing NFRD.

The reporting will need to cover:

international regulations

CSRD – Economy’s game changer

The European milestone in setting international standards for sustainability reporting shows: In the future, every company worldwide will have to disclose its climate impact. This will help investors to reorient capital flows towards sustainable investment and manage financial risks stemming from climate change and improve transparency.

This is a great opportunity, guidance and motivation for effective climate action. It enables companies to position themselves as pioneers and to empower business partners along the way.

You want to learn more on how to prepare best for CSRD, in order to seize the opportunity now to drive forward climate transformation? Access the Whitepaper on CSRD here to get more insights.

You want to drive climate transformation in your organization today? Find out more about the free CLIMATE Readiness Check here and take the first steps towards a low carbon economy!

Picture: Unsplash

EU-Taxonomy Extension – How a traffic light system will transform EU-Taxonomy classification 

Today, there are debates about extending the current version of the EU-Taxonomy. The EU’s original Taxonomy was developed to provide insights on sustainable investments for investors, government and other organizations. The Taxonomy aims to provide a science-based classification system to use in financial decisions with the goal of increasingly directing investments in sustainable economic activities. While the EU-Taxonomy is still relatively new, it has attracted a large amount of critical feedback.

Why is the current version of the EU Taxonomy receiving criticism? 

The current version is mainly focused on the performance levels of activities that are considered to make a substantial contribution to the EU´s environmental objectives, while also not making significant harm to one of those objectives. So, economic activities are considered sustainable if, on the one hand, they directly contribute to the fulfillment of EU environmental goals or support the achievement of at least one of the environmental goals, such as data services to optimize the management of renewable energy sources. In doing so, none of the other environmental goals may be significantly impaired. 

Still, this classification shows some limitations. It leaves a wide variety of economic activities non-classified, either because they have no sustainable transition options or they are considered to not substantially contribute to the climate objectives. This non-classification is often misinterpreted as ”non-sustainable“. This implies that at some point, the investments for those activities will eventually dry up, although they are not actually unsustainable.

Traffic lights driving a broader understanding of sustainable activities 

The latest proposal would introduce a traffic light system for classifying economic activities. This would entail that more activities are included in the EU-Taxonomy, showing the different degrees of sustainability. 

This is to be seen in the visualization below.

Existing EU-Taxonomy in comparison to extended Taxonomy version

In comparison to the existing Taxonomy, the new model shows a more complex classification system. Firstly, there are some activities, classed as red (Box 1), that cannot be reformed and will always be considered to do “Significant Harm“. Secondly, listed activities with an Amber status are considered as “intermediate performance“ (Box 2). Those are activities that are in the process of transitioning to a more climate compatible performance. Box 3 shows activities that are about to be included in the future. The ultimate goal is to eventually assess all the activities on an activity-by-activity basis. The last column (Box 4) shows the low environmental impact activities (LEnvI), which includes the activities that do not have significant environmental impact and should not be regarded as either red, amber or green. It could allow enterprises to show that their overall activities do not cause environmental or social harm, although not considered “green“.

Directly spoken, many EU-Taxonomy users could benefit from an extension of the Taxonomy framework to introduce other performance levels, since this would enhance transparency. Additionally, it would support a faster environmental transition within the whole economy with the goal of the “Red“ activities, transitioning to “Amber“ and to eventually eliminating the activities unable to transition.

What does that mean for companies?

The extension of the EU-Taxonomy aims to provide more transparency around the environmental impact of economic activities with the goal to incentivize investments in sustainable activities. Companies need to be aware of what this will mean for them. As investors increasingly focus on climate compatible activities, companies will need to adapt their strategy accordingly. Already today, companies are faced with the challenge of developing a climate relevant strategy in order to position themselves as a sustainable and climate compatible company.

You want to stay updated on how to drive forward Climate Transformation? Sign up for our CLIMATE News and become part of our CLIMATE community on Slack. We are looking forward to you joining us!

Picture: Unsplash

#CTS2022: The climate solutions I didn’t know existed

Today on the CLIMATE TRANSFORMATION Summit’s agenda, we have “The climate solutions I didn’t know existed”.

The #CTS2022 is expected to be mind-blowing, and one of the reasons is the CLIMATE Online Fair, for which we reserved one and a half hours on both days of the Summit. During this time slot, attendees will be able to meet inspiring providers of climate solutions and learn about the solutions that are already out there. That’s right, we already have some of the technologies needed to slow down (to say to stop it would be too optimistic) climate change, even though we might not be aware of it!

In this blog entry, I would like to introduce you to some of the Exhibitors who will showcase their products and services at our Summit to give you an idea of the type of climate pioneers you will be able to meet.

MEET THE EXHIBITORS!

So here is a list with the first confirmed Exhibitors with their climate solutions at our Summit – and don’t forget: if you want to become one, you can apply here.

  • greenmiles has been offering advice on all aspects of climate strategy and climate accounting since 2007.
  • Since 2018, the Development and Climate Alliance (Stiftung Allianz für Entwicklung und Klima) has linked development cooperation with international climate protection by providing a platform for voluntary GHG offsetting projects.
  • Next-Incubator is a think tank and internationally established innovation developer, that promotes projects that meet ESG-criteria.
  • First Climate is an internationally active provider of solutions for climate protection and renewable energy supply.

WHAT NOW?

I don’t know about you, but I already feel inspired by simply looking at all the climate solutions out there! I can’t wait to see what each exhibitor will prepare to customize their own Virtual Booth and I hope you will join us at our CLIMATE TRANSFORMATION Summit 2022 on 2nd & 3rd June!

Don’t forget to get your ticket here and see you there!