The European Parliament has reaffirmed its commitment to corporate sustainability reporting standards that will go into effect January 2024.
Members on Oct. 18 rejected a resolution that would have weakened the European Sustainability Reporting Standards, clearing the way for final adoption of rules for companies to report on sustainability-related impacts, opportunities and risks.
The ESRS standards will apply to all large and listed companies in the EU beginning next year, and by 2028 to non-EU companies operating in Europe.
Eelco van der Enden, CEO of Global Reporting Initiative, an independent sustainability reporting organization, said in a statement that the European Parliament action "signals the transition from political debate to practical implementation for these new rules — which are a game changer for corporate accountability, in the EU and globally."
The ESRS and GRI standards are designed to be interoperable as much as possible, and GRI is working on a digital taxonomy and multitagging system to simplify the reporting process.
In its 2024 agenda released Oct. 17, the European Commission recommended delaying the reporting rules for specific sectors for two years, and giving non-EU companies doing business there until June 2026 to comply.
The 2024 agenda addressed several sustainability and climate-related actions, including setting a 2040 climate target, a wind power package, industrial carbon management strategies and an initiative on water resilience.