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Evaluation and advancement of CSR reporting

The CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG) of 2017 renders non-financial reporting mandatory for nearly 500 companies in Germany. The Act requires companies to publish information on environmental concerns, employees’ rights, social concerns, human rights, as well as on combating corruption and bribery, including the presentation of concepts, outcomes, and performance indicators. Previous studies on the implementation of mandatory CSR reporting in Germany largely cover the first reporting cycle and focus on descriptive information on companies’ response to the new requirements of mandatory reporting.

This project’s goal is to systematically assess the quality and utility of information presented in mandatory CSR reports. Its focus is on reporting relating to environmental concerns and their utility to financial market actors in the context of “sustainable finance” goals. The project proceeds by first systematically evaluating existing studies on the implementation of mandatory reporting in Germany (review study). Next, an in-depth study on reporting on environmental concerns for the reporting years 2018-2019 will be conducted. To this end, all German capital market oriented companies’ non-financial statements and reports will be evaluated qualitatively. The study will result in identification of best practices of reporting as well as in recommendations for the further development and revision of the reporting obligation. Findings will be presented and discussed with experts at an international conference planned for December 11, 2020.

IÖW Project Team