MEPs call for mandatory environmental reporting

The European Parliament’s Employment Committee has called for binding rules to govern environmental reporting by companies that would be comparable to those on competition.

During a debate on a green paper on corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, MEPs stated that they were in favour of a voluntary approach to CSR reporting. However, they stated that companies should produce reports on social and environmental impacts that are independently verified and include all levels of a company, its supply chain and business partners.

The committee proposed the creation of an EU multi-stakeholder CSR organisation made up of representatives of business, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, public authorities and representatives of non-EU countries. The body would register voluntary codes of conduct in order to verify them in the light of international standards and devise guidelines for wider stakeholder dialogue. In addition, companies should be required to supply information on the social and environmental impact of their operations, said the committee.

Parliament’s Industry Committee has already debated the green paper, and rejected a call by Green MEP Caroline Lucas for mandatory reporting, fearing that it would be too onerous on companies (see related story).

Parliament will vote on the report at its Brussels plenary session in May.

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