German Environment Agency calls for tougher corporate environmental reporting guidelines
Clean Energy Wire
The German Environment Agency (UBA) is calling for more detailed environmental and climate protection reporting from corporations at the EU level. A recent study commissioned by the UBA shows that while German companies are increasingly reporting on climate, water, resources and waste, significant gaps remain, with only about 20 percent disclosing information on air pollution and biodiversity. The identified gaps are often due to insufficient legal provisions, the UBA notes.
“We urgently need meaningful and standardised sustainability information from European companies,” said UBA president Dirk Messner. “Only with a significant increase in transparency” can the financial market use its leverage to help transform the economy, he added. “This is what the amendment of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, recently initiated by the European Commission, needs to accomplish.” Current legal reporting requirements are too vague, resulting in “an incomplete picture of business reality,” Messner said.
Climate change is the main environmental topic German companies disclose information on in required non-financial statements, according to the UBA. Around 80 percent of companies reported on climate for 2019, and more than half of those also provided information on climate targets. By contrast, less than 60 percent provided information on resources and waste, slightly more than half on water and less than 20 percent on air and biodiversity. The German government aims to make Germany a global leader in sustainable finance with a new strategy, which also seeks to strengthen non-financial reporting requirements for companies.