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Making Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance in Europe a Global Road Map

In recent years, Europe has positioned itself as a world leader in the defense of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. The regulatory landscape has been transformed, aligning policies with ESG objectives. The EU has taken initiatives such as the European Green Pact, which aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Rigorous regulations, such as the European Taxonomy Regulation, have been implemented to standardize ESG reporting, ensuring transparency and accountability for investors and companies alike.

Across Europe, investors are now prioritizing ESG considerations, resulting in a substantial transformation of the investment landscape. Asset managers are actively integrating sustainability into decision-making processes, promoting responsible, long-term practices. Financial instruments such as green bonds reflect the financial sector’s growing commitment to ESG principles.

Europe’s commitment to ESG is driving innovation, positioning the continent as a hub for sustainable technologies. Significant investments in renewable energies, circular economy solutions and green infrastructure are addressing environmental challenges while creating economic opportunities, making Europe a global pioneer in sustainability.

Nevertheless, Europe faces challenges in the widespread adoption of ESG. The harmonization of standards across borders is crucial for consistent reporting, offering opportunities for collaboration, research and global solutions.

In both the public and private sectors, effective carbon accounting based on common sustainability reporting standards is imperative. The ongoing energy revolution, which is driving the transition to a green economy, offers an exceptional opportunity for sustainable growth. The European Commission, through the Delegated Act on European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), has played a central role in promoting sustainability reporting. However, it remains essential to strike a balance between high sustainability ambitions and practical implementation.

It is essential that standards are realistic in terms of time and content, and avoid imposing undue constraints on individuals and companies. In addition, these standards should offer tangible benefits, promoting transparency and accountability, and bringing added value to the companies that adopt them.

Establishing reliable data sources and transparent methodologies for calculating carbon footprints is essential for a global approach to product lifecycles. Global ESG standards aim to provide reliable information to facilitate sector comparisons, which is becoming fundamental to risk management.

To achieve the ambitious goal of net zero emissions by 2050, it is essential to create a market that rewards sustainable practices and penalizes environmental damage. A robust green financial system is essential to support a green economy. This comprehensive edition explores Europe’s commitment to ESG standards, covering regulatory developments, investor influence, corporate responsibility, current innovations, challenges, stakeholder engagement and global collaboration.

 

Editor-in-Chief 

Laurent ULMANN

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), the EU’s action plan for sustainable finance
    Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union
  • The time for sustainable growth has begun
    Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Belgium Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy
  • Taking sustainability seriously in all economic sectors
    Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty
  • Ethical Investing Pays Off – and Not Just for the Planet
    Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank
  • Promoting synergies between public and private networks in the field of green finance
    Odile Renaud-Basso, President of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  • Generali’s Sustainable Transformation Journey
    Lucia Silva, Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Generali
  • The CS3D: a milestone for supply chain responsibility
    Axel Voss, MEP (EPP Group – Germany) Rapporteur on Directive CS3D
  • A regulation banning all products made with forced labor from the EU market – a moral obligation
    Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, Mep, (S&D Group – Portugal), Vice-Chair IMCO Committee
  • The challenges and benefits of integrating ESG criteria into the ICT value chain
    Jean Benoît Besset, VP for Group Environment and Energy Transition, Orange
  • Reporting Standards: Striking the Delicate Balance Between Ambition and Realism
    Daniel Buda, MEP (EPP Group – Romania)- JURI Committee
  • European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS): a complete coverage of E, S and G disclosures under double materiality to support high-quality reporting
    Chiara Del Prete, Chair, EFRAG’s Sustainability Reporting Technical Expert Group
  • The EU’s ESG Strategy and Global Competition: Environmental, Social, Geopolitical?
    David Henry Doyle, Vice President, Head of Government Affairs & Public Policy, EMEA at S&P Global
  • Sustainability reporting: the conundrum of ESG Data
    Gabrielle van Melkebeke, IOGP Europe – Senior Manager ESG and Environmental Policies
    Nicola Bacaro, Eni – Sustainability Reporting Specialist and part of the EFRAG Secretariat
  • Why a common standard for sustainability reporting is a necessity for all
    Olivier Boutellis-Taft, CEO of Accountancy Europe
  • Advancing Global Sustainability: The Urgency of Harmonized ESG Ratings
    Sirpa Pietikäinen, Mep, (EPP Group, Finland) -ECON Committee
  • European Green Deal & CSRD: what if the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model was a path to follow for environmental performance?
    Jean Hornain, CEO of Citeo
  • Green Asset Ratio: managing expectations
    Denisa Avermaete, Senior Policy Adviser – Sustainable Finance, European Banking Federation
  • European Sustainability Reporting Standards: Make our governments exemplary again!
    Elodie Franco-Ritz, Government Affairs Director for France & Francophone Africa, SAP
  • The taxonomy must be a tool that helps companies grow and create jobs, whilst becoming greener
    Florence Bindelle, Secretary General EuropeanIssuers
  • IT has a major role to play in meeting Scope 3 ambitions
    Nourdine Bihmane, Deputy CEO Atos Group, CEO Tech Foundations
  • Clear, transparent rules to protect the world’s forests
    Nicolae Stefanuta, MEP (Group of the Greens – Romania)
  • Advocating a Pop Culture of Sustainability
    Sabine Lochmann, President and founding partner of ASCEND, a consulting firm specializing in ESG/ CSR strategy and Duty of Vigilance
  • ESG in the European aviation sector: the contribution of the new regulation on the “ReFuelEU aviation” initiative
    Jean-Claude Beaujour, Is a lawyer at HARLAY, avocats, Chair of the IPBA Aviation Commission