6,000 European companies now obliged to report on environmental and social impact

Posted on 27 February 2014    
Stylish businessman in a suit and tie with a fresh green leaf in his pocket signals his intent to care about the environment.
© Istockphoto.com/WWF-Canada

Brussels, Belgium: On the 26th of February, EU Member States and the European Parliament agreed on a legislative proposal that will oblige 6,000 European companies to report on their environmental and social impact for the first time.

Sébastien Godinot, Economist, WWF European Policy Office:
“WWF welcomes this important step, which will require companies to release information details on any risky activity that might affect people and the environment. However, WWF is deeply disappointed with the weak measures pushed by Member States.”

“The final proposal waters down the enforcement of the law from originally 42,000 to only 6,000 European large companies and includes loopholes that will allow some companies to avoid or limit their reporting. It is now up to the European Commission to determine how to implement the regulation so that it is truly effective.”

Guidelines for companies on how to report under the new reform, including on water use, land use, greenhouse gas emissions and use of materials, are expected from the European Commission within the next two years. The legislation is expected to be reviewed in four years.

The proposal in detail:

If the law is formally adopted as such by the Parliament’s plenary and the European Council in March, it will include the following measures:

- A mandatory reporting on key non-financial information;

- For the first time an obligation to explicitly report on: environmental, human rights, social, corruption, and diversity issues will be present

- Reporting will now cover companies’ due diligence policies – mechanisms will need to be in place to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for adverse impacts on workers, communities, and the environment;

- The reporting scope will include companies’ supply chains (principal risks in the “business relationships”). This is essential as most human rights and environmental risks are found in the supply chain;

- The reform will draw on authoritative international standards, namely the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines for multinational enterprises;

- The reporting scope will cover public interest entities of over 500 employees – representing 6000 European companies.


Link to the Briefing of the European Coalition for Corporate Justice:

For further information:

Sebastien Godinot
WWF European Policy Office
+32 2 740 09 20

Alba Malaga
Communications & Media
WWF European Policy Office
+32 2 743 88 15
Stylish businessman in a suit and tie with a fresh green leaf in his pocket signals his intent to care about the environment.
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