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Dear participant,

This survey for CEC members intends to assess the utility, adequacy and feasibility of a CEC cooperation for a certification in Triple Bottom Line accounting for managers.

While non-financial reporting standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative establish standards on how to report the material impact of business activities (environment, social and good governance dimensions), there is currently no single framework on how to account this impact. In other words: there exists no standardisation in the way businesses' Triple Bottom Line is measured. Furthermore, there exists no certification scheme for individual managers or their companies as target groups for Triple Bottom Line accounting (frameworks such as GRI only certify companies and for their reporting only). Consequently, reporting quality can vary largely, leaving investors, customers and policy-makers in doubt about the real performance (and comparability) of companies.

In the framework of its work on sustainable leadership, CEC has organised an event on the topic and met several organisations to discuss leadership and management development, including the Centre for Sustainable Organizations. The Centre for Sustainable Organizations (CSO) is an NGO from the United States who is developing a certification scheme on sustainability accounting on the Triple Bottom Line with Social Accountability International (SAI). The CSO is proposing CEC options for a potential cooperation.

Please read the presentation of the proposal by the Centre for Sustainable Organizations here (PDF).

The presentation contains three modular options for potential cooperation:

- contributing to the development of the certification standard (i.e. defining sustainable leadership)
- contributing to the development of trainings once the certification scheme is in place
- contributing to the provision of certification of the standard

We would like to know, if you think your affiliates could benefit from such a scheme and if CEC should engage in one way or another to promote this scheme.


The legislative background of the proposal in the EU

 At EU-level, the European Commission had introduced a "Clean Planet for All" strategy for 2050, published in 2018. One of the tools to improve incentives for transforming businesses sustainably lies in the Commission’s action plan on sustainable finance, published in March 2019. To deliver on the sustainable finance action plan, the Commission proposed the introduction of a unique taxonomy (EU classification system) to provide clarity on which activities can be considered
“sustainable” in the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

The taxonomy will provide detailed information on the relevant sectors and activities to effectively mitigate climate change. It will be based on screening criteria, thresholds and metrics. In the context of this effort on corporate transparency on sustainability efforts, the Commission had also introduced non-financial reporting standards for sustainability disclosure. These standards apply to the EU's 6000 largest and listed companies. This directive lets companies choose the reporting under which they can report on their sustainability efforts (like the GRI).
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