The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) have joined forces.
Announced last week, the two organisations are to cooperate by sharing technical expertise around EU sustainability reporting standards. According to a joint statement, the collaboration, “aims to assist the European Commission in fulfilling its objective to increase corporate transparency in support of the European Green Deal”.
It goes on: “Requirements for companies to report to new European sustainability reporting standards is set out in the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) proposal. EFRAG’s Project Task Force on European Sustainability Reporting Standards is leading the technical work to develop those standards.”
Judy Kuszewski, chairman of the GRI’s Global Sustainability Standards Board, said: “The EU and GRI are both committed to standards that are multi-stakeholder inclusive and address the impacts organisations have on the environment, society and the economy, based on international and authoritative instruments. Therefore, we look forward to contributing our knowledge and expertise to EFRAG and engage with the Project Task Force in the co-construction of new EU sustainability standards.”
The regulation of sustainable investing, and its varying definitions, has been the source of many stories recently. Last month, the UK government set up the Green Technical Advisory Group (GTAG), which will use data to ‘help companies, investors and consumers to make informed green choices, support investment in sustainable projects, and boost efforts to tackle climate change’.
A stated aim of GTAG is to prevent ‘greenwashing’, which is the practise of investment products being given misleading titles about ESG in order to draw investor money. In the same few weeks, Greenpeace announced that most sustainability products did not live up to their name. That announcement came as Morningstar revealed that the growth of ESG investing within Europe was accelerating.
The formation of GTAG follows the government’s Build Back Better report in March, where it urged the financial sector to get behind its net-zero targets. Back then, a ‘transformational approach’ was promised.