Defined since 2011 by the European Commission as "the responsibility of companies for the effects they have on society", CSR, by setting up a multi-stakeholder dialogue, takes into account the expectations of stakeholders and allows for a better understanding of the link between the company and society.
In light of environmental and social challenges, greater corporate responsibility is now expected. Companies must account for the management of risks and negative impacts generated by their activities, but also for their concrete contribution to the resolution of environmental or social problems (climate change, precariousness, etc.) in a forward-looking manner. The scope of corporate responsibility is thus broadened and the question of their social utility raised.
Europe, world leader in just transition
The European Union is presenting itself through the Green Deal for Europe as a "world leader" for a just transition. Numerous texts and initiatives thus mark a rich European agenda on CSR issues. The CSR Platform has focused its work and reflections on three topical issues: sustainable corporate governance and duty of care, the "Taxonomy" regulation, and the revision of the directive on non-financial information.
Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD): in terms of non-financial reporting, the objective of the revision of the 2014 European directive on transparency and publication of non-financial information2 (known as the "NFRD") is to allow for better comparability of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) information: it aims to ensure that companies publish information that is relevant, reliable and easy-to-access.
The replacement of the term "non-financial reporting" by "sustainability reporting" underlines the qualitative change in reporting and the desired coherence between financial and non-financial information.
Taxonomy Regulation: as part of the EU Sustainable Finance Strategy, this regulation aims to define sustainable activities, i.e. a list of economic activities together with performance thresholds that measure the contribution of these activities to six environmental objectives: (a) climate change mitigation, (b) climate change adaptation, (c) sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, (d) transition to a circular economy, (e) pollution prevention and reduction, and (f) protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems, with the aim of guiding financing flows.
Due diligence: a draft directive is to be presented on due diligence covering the activities of companies, their subsidiaries, suppliers, and subcontractors in their value chain by the European Commission in the second half of 2021. The aim is to oblige companies to take effective measures to prevent and mitigate the risks of human rights and environmental abuses throughout their value chain, and to give victims and affected persons access to justice before European courts when they feel their rights have been violated.
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 COM (2011) 681 final, Corporate Social Responsibility: a new EU strategy for 2011-2014.