An accelerator for a new model of capitalism

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The proposed revision of EU rules on non financial reporting is a further step in the evolution of our business model and investment practices, write a group of leading European business bosses.

The proposed revision of EU rules on non-financial reporting is a further step in the evolution of our business model and investment practices, write a group of leading European business bosses.

This opinion piece is co-signed by 58 CEOs and chairs of large companies in Europe including Pascal Demurger, CEO of MAÏF, Jesper Brodin, CEO of IKEA – INGKA GROUP, Jean-Dominique Senard, CEO of Renault and Paul Hesselink, CEO of KIWA.

Our economic model, in Europe and elsewhere, operated for decades in a world where resources appeared to be unlimited. Economic, social and environmental issues have evolved, and companies and investors now operate in a multi-faceted world, with scattered sustainability standards and resources under pressure.

International competition as well as its economic and legal rules are evolving quickly. The major economic players, companies and shareholders, are now demanding greater legal certainty, shared disclosure rules and access to reliable sustainability information, which are essential for a long-term vision.

Beyond financial imperatives, the entire business environment and its role in society have evolved; its stakeholders, employees, consumers, and NGOs are demanding ever more meaningful and comparable information for enhanced transparency.

The normative framework must therefore evolve in order to adapt to this new balance between the needs of the market economy, the necessary control of environmental externalities, and the search for greater social justice, particularly towards the most fragile populations, or those deprived of the most basic rights.

The social role of companies, as creators of wealth and providers of jobs, but also as vectors and, to a large extent, guardians of the long-term sustainability of the economy, is fundamental.

Knowing the direction of travel of companies towards the net-zero objective, their level of exposure to fossil fuels and the level of consistency of their business model with the Paris Agreement is an important part of this. The European Union must now assume its specificities and have future international standards to incorporate them.

This is why we, as business and investment leaders, support the proposed revision of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) as a further step in the evolution of our business model and investment practices. The sustainability of our economic and legal model depends on it.

We must retain control over the rules that govern EU trade to maintain our legal, competitive, environmental and social standards and values, so that they do not disappear or get absorbed into systems of lower standards.

If the proposed revised directive is adopted, almost 50,000 companies in the EU will have to comply with its detailed disclosure standards, compared to 11,000 at present. They will have to independently verify and publish more information about their supply chain, their impact on ecosystems, climate change, deforestation, local populations, and governance.

In order to be effective and fair, communication of non-financial data must be as rigorous and reliable as financial data. It must therefore be public, centralised, and communicated in a single report with a shared format throughout the European Union.

It should also be subject to regular and independent auditing, so that investors can have clear information on activities and performance, and so as to allow civil society to verify its content and, in the long term, consumers to identify which companies are playing the transition game.

Implementing ambitious rules for the reporting of non-financial information will allow large companies and companies listed or operating in Europe to be at the forefront of a new economic model that meets the human, social and environmental challenges of the twenty-first century.

 

Signatures:

Sébastien BAZIN, CEO ACCOR
Benjamin SMITH, CEO AIR FRANCE-KLM
Raj NARAN, Global CEO & Managing Director ALS
Yves PERRIER, Chair AMUNDI
Philippe MAILLARD, CEO APAVE
Fernando BASABE, CEO APPLUS
Carey CAUSEY, President BALL BEVERAGE PACKAGING
Karina ENGSTRØM NIELSEN, CEO & Owner BALTIC CONTROL
Frédéric MAZZELA, Founder & CEO BLABLACAR
Nicolas DUFOURCQ, CEO BPIFRANCE
René MALER, Managing Director BRAIN CAPITAL GMBH
Didier MICHAUD-DANIEL, CEO BUREAU VERITAS
Eric LOMBARD, CEO CAISSE DES DÉPÔTS
Emery JACQUILLAT, President CAMIF
Evert JAN TIKTAK, Director CONTROL UNION
Sébastien DANNAUD, CEO COTECNA
Nicolas THERY, President CRÉDIT MUTUEL
Michel ABALLEA, CEO DECATHLON
Stefan KÖLBL, Chairman of the Management Board DEKRA
Stanislas NIOX-CHÂTEAU, Co-Founder & CEO DOCTOLIB
Per ELCAR, CEO EAST CAPITAL GROUP
Jo WETZ, CEO ELEMENT
Philipp GOOD, Co-Founder & CEO ESG-AM
Gilles MARTIN, CEO EUROFINS
Jean-Dominique SENARD, President GROUPE RENAULT
Silke STREAMLAU, Board Member HANNOVERSCHE KASSEN
Jesper BRODIN, CEO IKEA, INGKA GROUP
André LACROIX, CEO INTERTEK
Pedro MATIAS, President & CEO ISQ
Paul HESSELINK, CEO KIWA
Philippe HEIM, Chairman of the Management Board LA BANQUE POSTALE
Pascal DEMURGER, CEO MAIF
Noeh ECKHARD, Founder & CEO NATURALLY AG
Nils BOLMSTRAND, CEO NORDEA ASSET MANAGEMENT
Michel PAULIN, CEO OVH CLOUD
Sébastien BRETEAU, CEO QIMA
Ugo SALERNO, President & CEO RINA
Olivier DE PANAFIEU, Managing Partner ROLAND BERGER FRANCE
Peter BOKS, Chair SAYBOLT
Frankie NG, CEO SGS
Bjorn K. HAUGLAND, Co-Founder & CEO SKIFT BUSINESS CLIMATE LEADERS
Hervé MONTJOTIN, CEO SOCOTEC
Bertrand CAMUS, CEO SUEZ
Roland FRANZ, CEO SWISSCANTO ASSET MANAGEMENT INT
Tomàs HRUŠKA, CEO SZU
Stefan HAAS, CEO TÜV AUSTRIA
Dirk STENKAMP, Chairman of the Board TÜV NORD
Michael FÜBI, Chairman of the Executive Board TÜV RHEINLAND
Axel STEPKEN, Chairman TÜV SÜD
Andrzej ZIÓŁKOWSKI, Chair of the Office of Technical Inspection UDT
Jennifer SCANLON, Chair & CEO UL
Alexandre BOUCHEROT, Co-Founder & CEO ULULE
Andrew BARR-SIM, Managing Director VALLIS
Antoine FREROT, CEO VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT
Bernard DE CANNIÈRE, CEO VINÇOTTE
Jean-François Rial, CEO VOYAGEURS DU MONDE
Antoine HUBERT, Chair & CEO YNSECT

 

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