KPMG analysis shows PLCs more prepared than private companies:

  • Analysis completed of Ireland’s top 50 companies – listed and non-listed
  • 40% of companies ‘yet to start’ reporting
  • More than half (54%) either did not publish any sustainability-related information within their annual report or reported this information in a separate sustainability report

KPMG has today issued findings from their research into the readiness of Ireland’s 50 leading listed and private companies for compliance with the EU’s proposed ESG reporting requirements included in its Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The analysis, which assessed a range of criteria from publicly available information against a number of CSRD elements*, found that of the companies examined, none reported on all elements, with 40% of companies having not started reporting at all.

The new requirements

The CSRD will replace the EU’s existing Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) requirements, significantly expanding the scope of companies which must comply, and also setting out in far greater detail the nature and extent of non-financial information that entities will be required to report. The EU estimates that 49,000 companies across the EU will fall under the scope of the new Directive, compared to the 11,600 which have reporting obligations at present.  The new requirements will apply to Reporting for 2023. The additional level of information required under these and other new reporting standards will require a substantial amount of preparation in advance by Irish companies which fall in scope.

The analysis categorised the sustainability-related information reported by the entities into three levels: “far from ready”, “good basis for getting ready” and “close to ready”, with the results showing that a vast majority (72%) of the sample of 50 companies were deemed as “far from ready”, with 26% having a “good basis for getting ready” and only 2% being “close to ready”.

The report also highlighted a significant disparity between listed and non-listed companies. Of the listed companies reviewed, 60% disclosed that they had undertaken a materiality assessment, compared with just 8% of the non-listed companies reviewed. Similarly, the analysis found that 88% of listed companies disclose the role of the board with regard to sustainability matters, compared with just 12% of non-listed companies.

The KPMG analysis found that of the companies which have started reporting, just 4% obtain any external assurance over their sustainability-related indicators. The CSRD introduces a requirement for companies to obtain limited assurance over their sustainability-related information and will allow for a progressive approach to assurance moving from ‘limited’ to ‘reasonable’ assurance over time. 

Key findings

  • 40% of companies examined have yet to start reporting.
  • 54% either did not publish any sustainability-related information within the annual report or reported this information in a separate sustainability report.
  • 60% of companies have not disclosed their progress towards achieving targets.
  • 50% of companies do not clearly describe the role of the board and management in relation to sustainability.
  • Only 4% of companies obtain external assurance over their sustainability-related indicators.

Commenting on the findings, Colm O’Sé, Partner, ESG Assurance said: “It’s clear there is substantial work to be done by many Irish companies to prepare for CSRD and broader sustainability reporting related requirements, including the EU Taxonomy. Compliance will require a substantial change management exercise and our strong advice for businesses is to start preparing now. Initial steps businesses can take include defining their sustainability strategy and governance, setting up sustainability reporting systems, controls and processes, setting targets and KPIs and seeking external assurance. I would say it’s very much in a business’s interest to start embracing the new reality of reporting requirements that will be mandatory in the near future. Better reporting also makes good business sense and will support meeting the expectations of stakeholders regardless of whether an organisation is obligated to report or not.” 

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