European Corporate Reporting Lab @EFRAG
The European Corporate Reporting Lab @EFRAG (European Lab)
The European Lab was established by EFRAG, following the call by the European Commission in its March 2018 Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth. The European Lab serves the European public interest and its objective is to stimulate innovation in the field of corporate reporting in Europe by identifying and sharing good reporting practices through:
Facilitating dialogue between reporting companies, users and other relevant stakeholders and organisations; and
- Documenting the content and outcomes of this dialogue in reports and other means, for making them available in the public domain.
European Lab Steering Group
The European Lab has a multi-stakeholder Steering Group (the European Lab SG) and under its direction, EFRAG establishes project task forces for specific projects (European Lab PTFs).
The European Lab SG is responsible for setting the agenda of the European Lab; appointing the members of the European Lab PTFs; monitoring project implementation; promoting outputs of the European Lab and mobilising networks; giving direction on external communication; and reviewing the progress of the European Lab activities.
European Lab PTFs
The European Lab PTFs are responsible for the operation of the projects of the European Lab, including planning, specific issues selection, conducting stakeholder consultative outreach activities, and the project reports and other deliverables, as decided by the PTFs. The PTFs operate under the European Lab PTFs Operating Guidelines.
The activities of the PTFs may include public consultation such as expert meetings, seminars, round table discussions, interviews, surveys and other activities to facilitate engagement and exchange with other stakeholders. The European Lab PTFs decide on the form of consultation and outreaches relevant and appropriate for the public.
Non-financial reporting standards related mandates issued to EFRAG
Preparatory work for possible EU non-financial reporting standards
On 25 June 2020 the European Commission issued a request for technical advice mandating EFRAG to undertake preparatory work for possible EU non-financial reporting standards in a revised Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The preparatory work will be carried out by a multi-stakeholder PTF that will be appointed by the European Lab Steering Group, and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2021, with a progress report to be issued at the end of October 2020. The relevant call for candidates was published on 17 July 2020. The PTF to be appointed shall incorporate a balanced representation of a broad range of stakeholders with a legitimate interest in non-financial information, spanning the public sector, the private sector and civil society from across the EU. The members of the PTF will need to have proven expertise on the different matters covered by the NFRD and the European Commission's requirements in its request for technical advice, and shall act in the public interest in their capacity as PTF members.
Non-financial reporting standards governance and finance
The European Commission has also invited EFRAG Board President and European Lab Steering Group Chairman, Jean Paul Gauzès, with an ad personam mandate, to consider the possible need for changes to the governance and financing of EFRAG if it were, subject to the findings of the preparatory work mentioned above and subsequent legislative decisions, to be entrusted with the development of European non-financial reporting standards in a revised NFRD.
Future agenda of the European Lab
On 18 July 2019 a public consultation was launched on the European Lab future agenda, requesting input to be provided by 30 September 2019. The consultation proposed future project topics and saught views on their prioritisation. It also saught input on any possible alternative project that would be more important and urgent for the European Lab to undertake than the projects proposed.
A roundtable event was hosted by EFRAG on 10 September 2019, for stakeholders to provide input and exchange views with European Lab SG members on the future agenda of the European Lab.
The results of the public agenda consultation were summarised in a feedback statement. A vast majority of respondents supported Project 2 on Reporting of non-financial risks and opportunities and linkage to the business model as the next priority for the European Lab. The European Lab Steering Group will decide at a later stage on a third project for the European Lab, taking into account the results from the agenda consultation, lessons learned from the experience of the first two European Lab projects and recent developments in reporting practices.
Project 1: Climate-related reporting
The first project of the European Lab was on climate-related reporting.
The members of the European Lab PTF on Climate-related Reporting (PTF-CRR) were appointed by the European Lab SG in February 2019.
The primary focus of the PTF-CRR was on identifying good reporting practices and assessing the level of maturity in the implementation of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, while also taking into consideration the climate-related reporting elements of the EU Non-financial Reporting Directive and the related European Commission non-binding guidelines.
The project addressed two areas: a general review of climate-related disclosures, and an in-depth review of scenario analysis reporting.
As part of the process the PTF-CRR engaged in dialogue with interested stakeholders, with a view to get practical insights on good reporting practices.
The project resulted in a report on How to improve climate-related reporting - A summary of practices from Europe and beyond that was published on 6 February 2020.
Project 2: Reporting of non-financial risks and opportunities and linkage to the business model
The aim of the second project of the European Lab is to identify good reporting practices around the theme of the project from a sustainability perspective and addressing what is commonly known as ESG factors. The project is expected to consider the needs and expectations of a wide range of users and other stakeholders, the extent to which they are addressed by current reporting practices, and the challenges faced by companies in providing that information.
The members of the European Lab PTF on Reporting of non-financial risks and opportunities and linkage to the business model (PTF-RNFRO) were appointed by the European Lab SG at the end of May 2020. The PTF-RNFRO shall be responsible for further scoping and conducting the project, in agreement with and under the supervision of the European Lab SG.
Conference on Fostering Innovation in Corporate Reporting
To mark the launch of the European Lab, a high-level conference on Fostering Innovation in Corporate Reporting took place in the afternoon of 5 March 2019 in Brussels. For more information, including a summary report and audio-visual materials, see the related meeting page.