Guberna

Mapping the state of affairs of non-financial reporting of Belgian Listed Companies

  • GUBERNA
  • en
2021
GUBERNA
Type
Article
Organisation type
Listed Company

In the run-up to the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive , research into the state of affairs of non-financial reporting of Belgian Listed Companies shows promising insights but we are not yet there ….

A study by the FSMA reveals that the reporting by those companies subject to the current Non-Financial Reporting Directive [1] has made significant progress in important areas, such as environmental reporting. Moreover, the BEL-20 appears to be best in class. Overall, however, there is still room for improvement as not all of the themes are reported in the same detail while in some areas a gap is noticeable in the quality of reporting.

A study by Mr. Jules Balcaen [2] goes one step further and analyses the use of NFR frameworks by all Belgian listed companies for the last 3 years (2019,2018, 2017). In fact, the author has constructed a Non-Financial Disclosure Score or Index (NFDI) - similar to other national scientific studies - which measures the compliance with the list of KPI’s on the five themes mentioned in the NFRD (Environment, Social Matters, Employment Matters, Human Rights and Anti-Corruption/bribery). Finally, he tries to find out what characteristics predict the NFDI. The findings are:

  1. 13 different frameworks are currently used, but one witnesses an increase in the use of the Sustainability Development Goals (SDG)-framework.
  2. The NFDI steady increases during the 3 years (from 6.58 in 2017 to 7.30 in 2019).
  3. The business sector of the company, the size of the company and the use of a separate sustainability report significantly influence the NFDI.
  4. Finally, also the choice of the framework matters: only the Carbon Disclosure Project, Global Reporting Initiative and SDG frameworks have a positive impact on the NFDI.

For more information contact Abigail.Levrau@guberna.be

 

[1] Directive 2014/95/EU

[2] Master thesis 2021 to obtain the diploma Business Engineering at UGent, supervised by Prof. dr. Abigail Levrau