As the name itself says, it is a document that obliges some companies and professional entities to disseminate information on their environmental, social, economic impact… the aim is to reduce greenwashing, that is, that phenomenon that pushes many organizations to wear apparently ecological and sustainable clothes, but behind which there is in fact no substance.

These are, for example, communication and marketing strategies that aim to hide the negative impact of a certain activity, or even to invent the existence of actions that have little impact on the environment. The EU has established that from 2024 the standards according to which sustainability reporting takes place will have to be aligned on an international scale. This should help investors, civil society organizations, consumers and politicians to evaluate the non-financial performance of large international companies (those with at least 500 employees), and obviously also encourages companies to develop a responsible approach to business.

This Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) fills the gap left by Directive 2013/34/EU, in force for about ten years, but vague and insufficient with regard to the non-financial information it provides. So much so, that a net increase in the number of companies affected is expected: it will go from the current 11,700 to more than 50,000, according to forecasts.

How? Multinationals with more than 500 employees will have to collect data on their environmental impact, the social impact of their activities and the treatment of their employees, respect for human rights, their anti-corruption rules and the dose of human diversity in their workforce (based on age, gender, professional and educational background. The dissemination of information is therefore expected for the following year, in order to give organizations and bodies the opportunity to ascertain the working and production conditions in the analyzed company.

From 2025, however, the aforementioned obligations will also involve companies with half the employees, 250, and/or a turnover of 40 million euros. An important detail: the directive also concerns non-European companies which however operate in the EU territory with a turnover of over 150 million euros per year.

The well-known difficulty in identifying, understanding and following the directives means that companies like Interzero are necessary mediators for companies that want to comply with the new criteria established by the European Commission. EU member states have 18 months from their entry into force to adapt to new legislation.