On July 30th 2017, new rules came into legislation requiring Irish companies to publish information on their policies in relation to Environmental Matters; Social & Employee matters; Respect for Human Rights; Bribery and Corruption; and Diversity in the Board of Directors.
The new legislation is applicable to public-interest entities with more than 500 employees. Announcing the regulations, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald said: “These new regulations require some of Ireland’s biggest companies to publish information on the policies they adopt and apply on a variety of important matters….In addition, these regulations oblige large listed companies to disclose how they promote diversity, such as age, gender and educational background, on their boards of directors.”
Business in the Community Ireland are the national network for CSR and sustainability and welcome this new legislation. It operates Ireland’s only audited standard for CSR and sustainability, The Business Working Responsibly mark which is based on ISO 26000 and is audited by the NSAI.
In applying for the Mark, organisations will already have the opportunity to understand and articulate these EU reporting requirements.
Across several indicators dedicated to the environment, employees and supply chain, the Mark requires an understanding of the organisations’ non-financial policies and practices as they pertain to the company and its products and services as well as to its business relationships. On Diversity, a whole indicator addresses that topic in relation to policies, practices and performance measurements including disclosure.
Viewed as an opportunity, Non-Financial Reporting can be an effective way for business to integrate sustainability into decision-making processes and help companies identify critical sustainability risks and opportunities. Non-Financial Reporting can also act as a catalyst to companies to engage stakeholders and encourage constructive dialogue on the impact of the business.
View a sample of the Mark questionnaire or contact CSR Executive Cillian McMahon on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
See the detail of the Irish legislation here: European Union (Disclosure of Non-Financial and Diversity Information by certain large undertakings and groups) Regulations 2017
A summary of the Regulatory Impact Analysis is available here: Regulatory Impact Analysis
The EU Commission has issued Guidelines on Non-Financial Reporting and these are available here: http://europa.eu/!NH38bQ