ecoDa EU Alert – Week 2

Kestävä kehitys ja kestävä hallinnointi ovat pääosassa ecoDa:n uusitussa uutiskirjeessä. Lisäksi Euroopan parlamentti peräänkuuluttaa pk-yritysten tukemista ja CEAOB on julkaissut analyysin tarkastusvaliokuntien toiminnan vaatimuksista.


European Institutions
– EC Study on sustainability-ratings;
– EP calling Europe to help SMEs;
– CEAOB Analysis on Audit Committee indicators;

European Developments
– ECMI’s critics about the EY report;
– ECGI Paper on sustainability wage gap;

National Developments
– Belgium: New legal framework for general meetings;

– Digital debate on the role of boards in climate change;

ecoDa’s News


European institutions developments

EC: Study on sustainability-related ratings

Europe leads the way globally on sustainable investing, with the total assets committed to sustainable and responsible investment strategies representing 46% of the global total in 2018. In this context, this study describes the state of the play of the sustainability-related products and services market. Its main conclusions are:

  • Company sustainability disclosures are considered to lack comparability, consistency and completeness;
  • There is a lack of clear and consistent terminology used and a need for clearer and standardized definitions for sustainability-related products and services;
  • The existence of bias and low correlation across sustainability-related ratings;
  • There is a need for a focus on materiality given the extensive breadth of topics covered, and resulting hundreds of indicators used.

EP: Calls Europe to help SMEs in the midst of the Covid crisis

The European Parliament advocates measures to support SMEs in dealing with the crisis and the twin challenges of digitalisation and decarbonisation.

MEPs are calling for less bureaucracy as the excessive administrative burdens represent a major challenge to 78% of SMEs, according to the 2019 Business Survey by Eurochambres and for a better inclusion of SMEs in investments for innovation.

CEAOB: Analysis on Audit Committee indicators

The Committee of European Audit Oversight Bodies has published an analysis on the requirements for audit committees contained in both the Audit Regulation and Directive based on a questionnaire sent to a sample of audit committees across Europe.

The responses collected indicated a broad application of the requirements of both the Audit Regulation and Directive. However a number of areas were highlighted where there were indications of either non-compliance with the ARD or a lack of understanding around the application of the ARD.

European developments

Publication: ECMI – Are European listed corporations short termist?

As many organisations, the European Capital Market Institute’s publication questions the reliability of the EY study serving as the basis of a series of measures envisaged by the EU Commission.

As stated in the ECMI’s article, the EY study fails to consider that the distributed funds (from the company to shareholders) can be re-invested back into the company, or re-deployed in other listed companies with cutting-edge research and sustainable investment projects. Last but not least, the study provides insufficient information about the selection and the composition of the companies used, and their variation in terms of size, ownership type, corporate and business model.

ECGI Paper: The Sustainability Wage Gap

In a new Working Paper, authors from the ECGI showed that workers earn about 10% lower ages in firms that operate in more sustainable sectors. The study, detailing administrative employer-employee matched data from Sweden, also states that the wage gap is even larger for  high-skilled workers, especially those with high non-cognitive skills, and increasing over time.

National developments

Belgium: New legal framework for the remote participation in general meetings

The Law of 20 December 2020 has been adopted to facilitate the remote shareholders’ meetings of companies and non-profit associations on a long-term basis.

If a fully remote general meeting is still not allowed, remote shareholders’ meeting are now at the discretion of the management body and should met several conditions:

  • The entity must be able to verify the capacity and identity of its shareholders/members.
  • The convening notice to the shareholders’ meeting must contain a clear and precise description of the procedure to participate remotely.
  • A “two-direction” communication is mandatory. However, the new regulation allows for a one-way communication – not allowing shareholders or members to actively participate in the discussions – until 30 June 2021 provided it has valid reasons to do so which are justified in the convening notices.


Digital debate: The Great Reset – The role of boards in climate change

In line with the World Economic Forum 2021 theme on The Great Reset, Chapter Zero Switzerland,  Chapter Zero France, the INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre, and the International Board Foundation have come together to jointly host a webinar, on the 26th of January (1.00pm CET) to address the critical role of the board in climate change and explore the challenges and opportunities on climate governance.

More information as well as the registration page can be found here.

EcoDa’s news

  • January 19th: ecoDa-Mazars joint event on ”Sustainable corporate governance for long term business success”. Registrations are still open. 456 registrations so far!
  • January 20th: ecoDa’s participation in FERMA ESG Working Group meeting to present ecoDa’s reaction to the ongoing European Commission consultation on sustainable corporate governance (Béatrice Richez-Baum);
  • January 22th: ecoDa’s Board Meeting in presence of Jesus Casado from European Family Businesses;
  • February 5th: ecoDa-AccountancyEurope-EY Joint Workshop on ”Sustainable governance: Future of Audit Committees”;
  • February 10th: ecoDa webinar on ”ESG: from Awareness to Strategic Moves”. Registrations are open.

Click here for the ecoDa EU Alert – Week 2.