To help companies prepare for the soon-to-be-mandatory publication of their sustainable development performance, and to lay the groundwork for the definition of European extra-financial standards. This is the objective of the “Impact” website unveiled by the French government on May 25th.
The result of a project launched about ten months ago with the Treasury Department, allows “all volunteer companies, from very small businesses to members of the CAC 40, to publish their environmental, social and good governance (ESG) performance data,” explained Olivia Grégoire, the Secretary of State in charge of the Social, Solidarity and Responsible Economy.”
In concrete terms, as of May 27th, companies wishing to do so will be able to enter 47 indicators ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to fairness ratios in terms of remuneration, including the number of independent directors. These indicators, which are consensual and already widely used by large groups, were defined “in collaboration with business networks, trade unions and a hundred or so ‘early adopters’ of all sizes, i.e. players at the forefront of ESG issues, such as Maif, Solocal, Accenture and Alstom,” emphasized Olivia Grégoire.
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What is the CSRD Directive
By publishing their ESG performance data on the Impact website, companies can prepare for the upcoming implementation of the CSRD (“Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive”). An acronym they will have to get used to. This European directive will strengthen and standardize the publication of ESG data by companies. It could be transposed into French law by the end of 2022 or early 2023. In other words, in less than three years – the time it will take to implement the directive – most companies with more than 250 employees will be subject to much more stringent obligations with regard to the publication of non-financial data.
“This directive may scare companies. We want to reassure them and give them the tools to prepare for it,” says Olivia Grégoire. The initiative is also a way for the government to open the debate and, why not, to take the lead in defining the future European ESG reporting framework. “We want to move forward on a grid that makes sense for France. We don’t want Europe to end up having to align itself with standards defined in the United States. That would not make sense for our companies. “
Another dimension of the project: the availability of open data on ESG data provided by companies. “Some of the data will be available by the end of June. For the time being, more than a hundred companies have either already entered their information on the platform or are in the process of doing so,” said Bercy.
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First published in Les Echoes ENTREPRENEURS, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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