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EU Commission Eases Sustainability Reporting Rules

June 12, 2023

The European Commission on Friday released a series of proposed changes to the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), the rules and requirements for companies to report on sustainability-related impacts, opportunities and risks under the EU’s upcoming Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The Commission’s proposals were released as a draft Delegated Act, along with a consultation requesting feedback on the new rules, which will be open until July 7.

The most significant amendments are proposals to ease the burden on smaller companies and first-time reporters by extending the phase-in times for some key sustainability factors such as Scope 3 value chain emissions, and rules enabling all companies to focus specifically on material sustainability factors.

The CSRD, on track to begin applying from the beginning of 2024, is aimed as a major update to the 2014 Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), the current EU sustainability reporting framework. The new rules will significantly expand the number of companies required to provide sustainability disclosures to over 50,000 from around 12,000 currently, and introduce more detailed reporting requirements on company impacts on the environment, human rights and social standards and sustainability-related risk.

The EU Commission’s delegated act follows the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group’s (EFRAG) submission of an ESRS draft in November 2022. EFRAG, a private association majority financed by the EU, was mandated by the European Commission in June 2020 to prepare for new EU sustainability reporting standards, as part of the revision of the NFRD. In May 2021, EFRAG was requested to develop reporting standards for the CSRD.

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