The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) welcomes todays’ release of the European Commission’s Guidelines on Non-Financial Reporting, which references the leadership and knowledge the IIRC provided in the guideline’s development.
The Non-Financial Reporting Directive provides an important impetus to 6,000 businesses across Europe to start thinking about broader value creation. At a joint IIRC, ACCA, Aviva and Barclays event last week, companies were told the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive provided encouragement rather than compulsion to adopt integrated reporting – but today’s guidelines underline that encouragement.
The guidelines published today reflect the key principles of integrated reporting: “The guidelines recognise the importance of linkages and inter-relations of information (connectivity), whether it is between different aspects of non-financial information or between financial and non-financial information.” Continuing, “The non-financial statement is also expected to be concise, and avoid immaterial information… Generic or boilerplate information that is not material should be avoided.”
This is a clear signal to companies embracing the Directive of the importance of integration of information and of using the statement as a means of communicating with stakeholders in a clear and understandable way – both concepts very important in Integrated Reporting.
The guidelines continue, “The statement is expected to provide insights into a company’s business model, strategy and its implementation, and explain the short-term, medium-term and long-term implications of the information reported.”
Commenting on the release of the guidelines, Richard Howitt, CEO, IIRC said, “The European Commission are to be congratulated on the publication of these principles-based guidelines, and in recognising that ‘integration’ between different voluntary frameworks used already is better than adopting any one exclusively.
“Companies reading through the guidelines will undoubtedly see many similarities to the International <IR> Framework and my message to them is that the IIRC will be on hand, with our partners, to provide support and guidance as you adopt the Directive in your reporting practices.
“We urge you to take, what the European Commission has called ‘a step ahead’, to fully integrate your reporting processes, so that your company is at the very pinnacle of corporate reporting in Europe.”