Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Company Law

Photo of Neale RichmondNeale Richmond (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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2. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the way in which the non-financial reporting directive which requires that companies with over 500 employees in size need to report on their carbon emissions in their annual reports will be enforced in Ireland; if a similar initiative will be put in place for companies and organisations with less than 500 employees; if a specific standard will be specified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23587/21]

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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The current requirements under company law for large companies with more than 500 employees to disclose information on their environmental performance are contained in the European Union (Disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 360 of 2017), as amended. The Regulations transpose the EU requirements of Directive 2014/95/EU on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information. The Directive is underpinned by non-binding guidelines for disclosure prepared by the EU Commission.

Failure to comply with the obligation to disclose information under the Regulations is an offence in Irish law. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of up to € 5,000 and/ or a term of imprisonment of no more than 6 months. Enforcement is a matter for the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

As one of the actions under the European Green Deal, to enhance further the disclosure by companies on climate and environmental data, the EU Commission initiated a review of the Directive 2014/95/EU. A proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive was published on 21 April 2021. The Deputy can find further detail on the EU Commission proposal on the Commission’s website.

The proposal will revise the existing Directive and includes in scope all large companies and listed SMEs except microenterprises. It is also proposed that EFRAG, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, will be responsible for developing new standards for EU sustainability reporting.

I understand it is anticipated that EU Council negotiations at working party level will commence in the near future. The final proposal will depend on EU Parliament and Council agreement and I understand that this is hoped for in the first half of 2022.


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