Following the entry into force of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), new EU sustainability reporting requirements will apply to EU companies, varying on their size and status. Large companies and listed SMEs will have to follow mandatory reporting obligations, starting from January 2024. The majority of SMEs being non-listed, they are exempt from mandatory reporting, yet might choose to report on a voluntary basis or might be compelled to provide relevant information to their partners across supply chains.
In this context, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), has been invited by the European Commission to develop a Voluntary European Sustainability Reporting Standard for non-listed SMEs (VSME). This work carried is inputted, inter alia, by SMEunited, which chairs the SME Cluster in EFRAG and contributes to the development of the standards. In this context, EBC participated to the online workshop organised by EFRAG for SMEunited members earlier this month.
EBC supports the work of SMEunited in this field and reiterates that the voluntary standard for SMEs must be as simple and usable as possible, particularly for micro companies, notably in the construction value chain. It is important that the VSME can be used by every undertaking, no matter how small and limited in means. In that sense, part of the discussion centred on the fact that SMEs should be able to provide necessary information in a no time-consuming manner to their business partners, without the need to hire specialised consultants and advisors and thus generate additional expense.
As a direct member of EFRAG’s VSME Community of experts, EBC is also participating in a series of workshops dedicated to the development of the VSME standard, with a number of workshops already planned for this autumn.
The European Commission (DG FISMA) is eventually expected to publish the VSME in non-binding form based on EFRAG’s recommendations, following a period of public consultation expected later this year. EBC will continue to support SMEunited in its work thereof and contribute the view of construction SMEs in EFRAG.