EU Commission postpones sustainable reporting standards by two years


The European Commission has disclosed its decision to postpone integral elements of its Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD).

According to ESG Today, this delay primarily concerns the enforcement of sector-specific sustainability disclosures and extends to the mandates on sustainability reporting for companies beyond the European Union’s confines.

This postponement emerged in the 2024 Commission Work Programme, an agenda detailing the actions slated for the forthcoming year. Notably, the programme emphasises alleviating companies’ reporting encumbrances, identifying the deferment of sector-specific European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) as a principal move.

Initially, the ESRS, adopted in July 2023, prescribed generic sustainability reporting prerequisites. The CSRD’s subsequent provisions necessitated the integration of industry-specific sustainability details, with an initial deadline set for the end of June 2024. However, under the new proposal, the Commission envisages a two-year deferment in the enforcement of these comprehensive standards.

This ripple effect extends to substantial non-EU entities operating within the EU, as the adaptation of rules pertinent to these international corporations was also due for completion by June 2024. These stipulations, under the Commission’s fresh directive, are poised for a similar delay, reshaping the landscape and expectations around corporate sustainability disclosures.

The Commission rationalises this postponement as a strategic step, streamlining companies’ focus on assimilating the inaugural suite of ESRS. Furthermore, it is perceived as a window for the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) to meticulously craft sector-specific standards, thereby minimising reporting obligations to the essentials.

The 2024 work programme isn’t solely about deferments; it echoes the EU’s steadfast commitment to ecological sustainability, underscoring initiatives under the EU Green Deal. The agenda includes ambitious climate-centric actions, industrial carbon management strategies, and enhancements in water resilience.

Additionally, the Commission advocates for expedited deliberations on outstanding proposals concerning the Green Deal, encompassing a diverse range of environmental advocacies from sustainable agriculture and circular economies to legislative measures on chemical management and water conservation.

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