European Commission collects comments on corporate sustainability reporting standards – Preparation of government proposal continues in Finland
The European Commission has published draft standards for companies on reporting on the sustainability of their operations. The deadline for submitting comments to the European Commission is 7 July 2023. The standards are based on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The Directive requires national legislative amendments which are being prepared by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive entered into force on 5 January 2023. The Directive requires all large companies and listed companies to report regularly on the social and environmental risks associated with their activities and on how their activities impact people and the environment. This information is to be presented in the company's annual report as a separate section, i.e. as a sustainability report.
The European Commission is currently inviting comments on its draft reporting standards. The standards set out the information that large companies and listed companies must publish as part of their annual report. The deadline for submitting comments to the European Commission is 7 July 2023.
Government proposal to be submitted in the autumn
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is preparing a government proposal for implementing the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive nationally. This will primarily be carried out by supplementing the Accounting Act and the Auditing Act.
The consultation round on the legislative amendments ended on 8 May 2023. The preparation of the government proposal will continue based on the comments received. The government proposal is to be submitted to the Parliament in early autumn 2023. This allows companies and non-governmental organisations to be informed about the future national legal infrastructure concerning the publication and auditing of sustainability information well in advance before the obligations of the Directive enter into force. For this purpose, provisions would be laid down, for example, on the digitalisation of the public reporting procedure.
The obligations imposed on companies will enter into force in stages: large listed companies must be prepared to collect their sustainability data from the beginning of 2024 in order to publish their first sustainability reports in spring 2025.
Timo Kaisanlahti, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047139