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Welcome to the Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance page
Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) is an approach to evaluating the extent to which a corporation works on behalf of social goals that go beyond the role of a corporation to maximize profits on behalf of the corporation's shareholders. Typically, the social goals advocated within an ESG perspective include working to achieve a certain set of environmental goals, as well as a set of goals having to do with supporting certain social movements, and a third set of goals having to do with whether the corporation is governed in a way that is consistent with the goals of the diversity, equity, and inclusion movement.
- Climate crisis
- Environmental sustainability
- Human rights
- Consumer protection
Corporate governance concerns
- Management structure
- Employee relations
- Responsible investment
ESG in fiancial terms
What Is Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing?
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing refers to a set of standards for a company’s behavior used by socially conscious investors to screen potential investments.
Environmental criteria consider how a company safeguards the environment, including corporate policies addressing climate change for example. Social criteria examine how it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.
ESG Criteria (exemples)
The criteria are set by analysts who identify the relevant issues facing specific sectors, industries, and companies.
- Companies that operate in higher-risk areas or have exposure to coal or hard rock mining, nuclear or coal power, private prisons, agricultural biotechnology, tobacco, tar sands, or weapons and firearms.
- Companies involved in major or recent controversies over human rights, animal welfare, environmental concerns, governance issues, or product safety.
- Publishes a carbon or sustainability report
- Limits harmful pollutants and chemicals
- Seeks to lower greenhouse gas emissions and CO2 footprint
- Uses renewable energy sources
- Reduces waste
- Operates an ethical supply chains
- Avoids overseas labor that may have questionable workplace safety or employ child labor
- Supports LGBTQ+ rights and encourages all forms of diversity
- Has policies to protect against sexual misconduct
- Pays fair (living) wages
- Embraces diversity on board of directors
- Embraces corporate transparency
- Someone other than the CEO is chair of the board
- Staggers board elections
Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)(1)
Helps to improve the flow of money towards sustainable activities across the European Union. The CSRD aims to ensure that businesses report reliable and comparable sustainability information so that investors can re-orient investments towards more sustainable technologies and industries. The CSRD reporting will align with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and the EU Taxonomy.
Who has to comply?
Companies with more than 250 employees and/or more than €40M turnover and/or more than €20Million in total assets - and all listed companies (except micro-enterprises) will need to comply.
On 5 January 2023 the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) entered into force.
- 2025: Businesses already subject to the NFRD will have to start reporting in the financial year 2024.
- 2026: Large undertakings not currently subject to the NFRD will have to start reporting n the financial year 2025.
- 2027: Small and medium enterprises and small and non-complex credit institutions, and captive insurance undertakings will have to start reporting for the financial year 2026 - with a further possibility of voluntary opt-out until 2028. The reporting standards for SMEs will be lighter.
EU Taxonomy (2)
The final goal of the requirements is that:
- Companies under the scope of the NFRD have to report the share of their “environmentally sustainable” economic activities (as defined by the EU Taxonomy) in their Revenue, their Capex, and their OPEX.
- Financial market participants will have to disclose how their financial products in the scope of the SFDR are aligning with the EU Taxonomy.
What are “green” or “sustainable” economic activities
Climate change mitigation
- Climate change adaptation
- Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
- Transition to a circular economy
- Pollution prevention and control
- Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems
The non-financial statements of companies in scope of the NFRD are subject to an existence check by the statutory auditor. There is no requirement in Union Law to verify the content of the disclosures. As soon as the CSRD is in place, the content of the statements will be audited.
|(2)||EU Taxonomy Overview (eu-taxonomy.info)|