Caisse des Dépôts joins push to develop EU-wide sustainability reporting standards

French public investment group Caisse des Dépôts has joined an effort run by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) project taskforce to develop EU sustainability reporting standards.

EFRAG is leading technical work to develop a first set of sustainability reporting standards by June next year, as set out in the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive proposal.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which currently delivers the world’s most widely used standards for sustainability reporting, signed an agreement with EFRAG in July to help it with this project.

And now Caisse des Dépôts has said it will join with the GRI help complete this technical work and accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable economy.

As a major French public financial institution committed to sustainability from the early 2000s, Caisse des Dépôts has strongly promoted the development of responsible finance and corporate transparency on ESG issues.

Eric Lombard, CEO of Caisse des Dépôts, said: “This standardisation of non-financial reporting is paramount in enabling us to improve our processes as shareholder, investor and lender, both in the initial appraisal of the counterparties that we finance, and in the shareholder dialogue we conduct to foster key issues and to accelerate the in-depth transformation of business models for a more sustainable economy. To ensure the usability of the data disclosed and the competitiveness of EU companies, the convergence with sustainability standards globally will also be key.”

Chair of the EFRAG project taskforce on sustainability reporting, Patrick de Cambourg, said it is grateful to Caisse des Dépôts for “stepping up and supporting” GRI’s efforts during this “crucial early phase of standards development”.

“It clearly shows the right focus, commitment and long-term vision during a time of much turbulence and distraction. It is in the interest of all investors and their clients to support ambitious and common standards for sustainability reporting in order to enable a truly transparent and sustainable economy,” he continued.

GRI chairman Eric Hespenheide added: “The cooperation agreement between EFRAG and GRI marked a major step towards developing EU sustainability reporting standards that take stock of best practice for transparency on corporate impacts, drawing on GRI’s global standard-setting expertise. We welcome the backing of Caisse des Dépôts during this crucial co-construction stage, which signals the strong support from the financial community for our efforts to ensure improved, robust and comparable ESG reporting by companies, both in the EU and around the world.”

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