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News releases AMF: 2013

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers publishes a report on disclosure of social and environmental responsibility information by listed companies

Published on December 24, 2013

The report gives a detailed review of the social and environmental responsibility information released by 60 listed companies and is published in the form of a Recommendation (DOC-2013-18). In it, the AMF lists a number of recommendations and areas for discussion, for the attention of the trade associations, most notably.

The AMF conducted an analysis of the way social and environmental responsibility (SER) information is presented, particularly against the backdrop of the entry into force of the “Grenelle II” Law of 12 July 2010. There is also a European context to this, as on 16 April 2013 the European Commission published a draft directive in which non-financial reporting becomes mandatory.

The report was drawn up based on the 2012 registration documents published by a sample of 60 companies listed on the NYSE Euronext regulated market. Half of the sample were corporations in segment A (and half of those are included in the CAC 40), and the other half SMEs and midcaps in segments B and C.

The AMF observed that in order to take greater account of the main themes associated with SER, companies have had to structure their information more thoroughly. This effort was made not only to comply with stricter regulations but also to meet the expectations of investors. Indeed, investors increasingly use the non-financial data published by companies to make their investment decisions, particularly when the investment is made through SRI (socially responsible investment) funds. However, in the view of the AMF, companies should be adopting an even more rigorous and pragmatic approach in order to pinpoint and prioritise the information to be included in their strategy and, ultimately, in their disclosure.

Having made its observations, the AMF reiterates the majority of the recommendations made in a previous study published in December 2010 for the attention of listed companies. These recommendations, some of which have undergone minor alterations, mainly concern the data medium, the way the information is presented, the non-financial indicators used, the SER targets highlighted by companies, and the inclusion of SER factors in executive compensation.

The AMF has also issued four new recommendations, relating to:

  • Strict enforcement of the “apply or explain” principle;
  • A clearer link established between the non-financial risks presented and the provisions made for them in the financial statements;
  • The content of the report drawn up by the independent third-party organisation (certifying the presence of the data and the accuracy of the information and explanations provided);
  • The presentation of the information to the Board and its ad hoc committees.

Lastly, the AMF puts forward some “areas for discussion for the attention of the trade associations and various stakeholders. These concern a more significant inclusion of SER in corporate governance codes, increased consultation between companies in the same sector in order to facilitate comparability of data, and better regulation of non-financial rating agencies.
 

Press Contact:
AMF Communication Directorate - Stéfanie Duschenes - Tel.: +33 (0)1 5345 6023 ou +33 (0)1 5345 6028

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