You should be familiar with these laws and standards relating to sustainability

Laws and Standards

Der Deutsche Corporate Governance Kodex (DCGK) ist am 27. Juni 2022 in seiner neuesten Fassung in Kraft getreten. Der neue Kodex enthält aktualisierte Grundsätze und erweiterte Empfehlungen für Vorstände und Aufsichtsräte börsennotierter Unternehmen. Besonderes Gewicht wird auf nachhaltige Unternehmensführung gelegt. Unternehmensvorstände sind gehalten, die mit den Sozial- und Umweltfaktoren verbundenen Chancen und Risiken genauso wie die ökologischen und sozialen Auswirkungen der Unternehmenstätigkeit systematisch zu identifizieren und zu bewerten. Ökologische und soziale Ziel sind auch in der Unternehmensplanung und -Strategie zu berücksichtigen.

Im September 2001 hat die Bundesministerin der Justiz eine Regierungskommission eingesetzt, die am 26. Februar 2002 erstmals den Deutschen Corporate Governance Kodex verabschiedet hat. Mit diesem soll die Transparenz der in Deutschland geltenden Regeln der Unternehmensleitung und -überwachung für nationale wie internationale Investoren erhöht werden. Ziel ist es, das Vertrauen in die Unternehmensführung deutscher Gesellschaften zu stärken. 

Die Wortlaut-Fassungen des Deutschen Corporate Governance Kodex certain large corporations and groups & law to strengthen non-financial reporting by corporations in their management and group management reports

Large public interest companies are obliged to disclose their strategies, risks and results with regard to environmental, social and employee issues, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and diversity in management and control bodies once a year. With the “Act to strengthen non-financial reporting by companies in their management and group management reports”, the requirements in Germany were transposed into national law. They are regulated in the German Commercial Code (§§289b to 289e, 315b to 315c HGB-E and §§289f, 315d HGB-E).

To the Directive

The sustainability reporting framework used by companies and organizations worldwide. It was developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Among other things, information on the areas is required

  • strategy
  • materiality
  • Involvement of stakeholders
  • Management approach
  • Economic, ecological and social indicators

This can be supplemented with industry-specific information.

The framework was further developed by the GRI into the Sustainability Reporting Standards in October 2016.

To the Standards

The framework for sustainability reporting. It was developed by the Council for Sustainable Development with the aim of making the sustainability performance of companies transparent and comparable. The code contains 20 criteria. Participating companies report regularly in declarations of conformity. They indicate to what extent they meet the criteria (comply) or why they do not report on certain criteria (explain). There are industry-specific supplements and guidelines.

To the Codex

The framework for sustainability reporting. The standards were developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and are a further development of the GRI G4 guidelines for sustainability reporting. The Sustainability Reporting Standards consist of 36 modules:

  • 3 general standards (fundamentals, general disclosures, management approaches)
  • 33 subject-specific standards for the areas of environment, economy and social affairs

The report according to the GRI standards must both meet the requirements of the three general standards and contain information on the topic-specific standards that were identified as relevant in the course of a materiality analysis.

To the Standards

The companies gathered there are obliged to report on the extent of their progress in implementing the ten principles of the Global Compact and with regard to their activities to promote sustainable development. Annual reports are sent to the stakeholders in the Communication on Progress (POG). It takes care of

  • Transparency
  • Improvement of entrepreneurial activities
  • Learning effects (dissemination of best practice)
  • Integration of the UN Global Compact and the United Nations

Companies with fewer than 250 employees who do not have sufficient resources for a regular progress report can support the Global Compact with the Express Communication on Progress (COP). This consists of only three yes or no questions.

About  COP

About Express COP

Instructions for integrated reporting by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). Integrated reporting as a holistic concept combines classic financial reporting with non-financial reporting elements. The focus is on the business model and corporate strategy. The framework names report content. It mainly contains general requirements for integrated reporting.

About International Integrated Reporting Framework

As a US non-profit organization, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) creates industry-specific standards for accounting for key environmental, social and corporate governance aspects (Environment, Social and Governance, ESG).

About SASB

Environmental audit developed by the European Union for companies and organizations that want to improve their environmental performance. In addition to voluntary environmental management and environmental audits, this also includes the regular publication of an environmental statement.

About EMAS

Assurance standard with provisions for conducting sustainability assurance, initiated as part of a multi-stakeholder process by the non-profit organization AccountAbility. AA1000AS (2008) sustainability assessments include assessments of the nature and extent of compliance with the three AA1000 AccountAbility Principles and, optionally, an assessment of the reliability of reported sustainability performance information.

About AccountAbility

UK law requires companies to submit an annual slavery and human trafficking declaration. This must state how the company takes action against forced labour, human trafficking and slavery in the supply chain. This declaration is also required for non-UK based companies that do business there and have a global turnover of more than £36m.

To the lawz