CSR concerns all types of companies, regardless of their size or sector of activity.
For some years now, large companies with more than 500 employees and unlisted companies have been required to prepare and publish their environmental and social impacts through extra-financial reporting.
A company's extra-financial reporting consists of presenting, in a transparent manner, social, societal, environmental and governance information related to its activity and its organisation to all its stakeholders.
Until now, the data published concerned the company's financial information.
However, the need to publish broader non-financial information, including social and environmental information, has been recognised. Thus, a regulatory framework has gradually developed around non-financial reporting.
The first law relating to the obligation of extra-financial reporting is the law of 15 May 2001. It was followed by the law of 12 July 2010, which structured the framework for non-financial reporting (information to be published, scope, etc.).
The decree of 24 April 2012 on the transparency obligations of companies brought new elements to non-financial reporting in terms of widening the scope of companies subject to the obligation, the information to be provided divided into three themes (social, environmental and commitments to sustainable development), the introduction of the notion of "comply" or "explain" and the information on measures taken by companies subject to verification.
Finally, the decree of 19 August 2016 integrated two new criteria into extra-financial reporting on the circular economy and actions to combat food waste, as well as on direct emissions, indirect emissions related to the energy required for the company's activities and significant emissions.
Thus, France has transposed the European directive of 22 October 2014 on the publication of non-financial information. It provides that certain large companies and groups must prepare a report on environmental, social and governance policy, its outcome in the form of key performance indicators as well as a description of the main associated risks and the way they are managed by the companies.
With the ordinance n°2017-1180 of 19 July 2017 and the decree n°2017-1265 of 9 August 2017, companies now formalise an extra-financial performance statement that includes two criteria on climate change:
- Measures taken to adapt to the consequences of climate change;
- Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and the means implemented set voluntarily in the medium and long term.
The new scheme introduces a materiality and relevance approach. Companies must present specific information according to the main risks inherent in their activities and the policies implemented to respond to them, with the key indicators and associated results.