The European Commission is to announce details of a new corporate reporting law requiring large companies to include information about the social, environmental and human rights impacts of their operations in their financial reports and accounts.
The proposals are due to be unveiled by internal market commissioner Michel Barnier in a statement tomorrow afternoon and will be the first time corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting has been mandated in this way.
The move has been welcomed as a 'huge step in promoting sustainable and accountable business' by MEP Richard Howitt, who is European Parliament rapporteur on CSR.
Howitt said: 'Today less than one in 10 of Europe's large companies disclose this information but the blinkers can come off on Tuesday for the remaining 90%. The law can play an essential role in incentivising environmentally sustainable companies and in rebuilding tarnished public trust in business.'
The draft EU law will be published on the same day as the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) releases its international Integrated Reporting (IR) framework for consultation, which is designed to encourage organisations to make use of existing reporting standards and guidelines, such as the Global Reporting Initiative's Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, for CSR statements.
Howitt said it was important that the EU law was passed in a form which matches these and other global efforts to encourage IR among companies worldwide, so as to increase corporate transparency.
Consultation on the IIRC's draft of the IR Framework will take place between 16 April and 15 July and the framework itself will be released in December 2013.