CSR Reporting Trends in the Netherlands
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained considerable traction in the Netherlands over the last ten years. More and more companies are showing an interest in sustainability, and the Dutch government, universities, and other social organizations are working to stimulate and encourage CSR reporting by industry.
CSR is an important topic in the Netherlands, but it is also a means of doing business. In 2004, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs founded an expert network organization for CSR called MVO (Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen). Its aim is to introduce CSR into the core activities of Dutch companies—in particular, those looking to expand business in emerging nations.
By 2010, CSR reporting became mandatory for publicly traded Dutch companies. Today, companies in the Netherlands are reporting CSR at a higher rate than other parts of Europe. The percentage of companies in the Netherlands reporting on their CSR initiatives grew from 63 percent to 82 percent between 2008 and 2011. In Europe, 71 percent of publicly held companies reported CSR activities in 2011. As a member of the European Union (EU), the Netherlands played a leading role in developing the reinvigorated EU strategy for CSR (2011–2014).
This strategy has identified four action areas:
- Aligning European CSR policies and practices with global guidelines by 2014
- Improving corporate disclosure of relevant non-financial information
- Creating market incentives for CSR
- Enhancing the visibility of CSR and disseminating good practices
In April, the EU announced proposals for legislation which would require large companies to disclose information on the major economic, environmental, and social impacts of their businesses as part of their annual reporting cycle. The details of this initiative are not yet in the public domain.
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), based in Amsterdam, developed a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that is currently the most widely used around the world. In 2011, 80 percent of the G250 were aligning with the GRI reporting standards.
The new G4 guidelines were released in May 2013 at the GRI Annual Conference. Wdesk enables teams to collaborate and manage data within the GRI G3.1 framework and will continue to adapt as G4 evolves.
Reference: KPMG International Cooperative. (2011). KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2011. Retrieved from http://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/corporate-responsibility/Documents/2011-survey.pdf
About the author
Liv Watson is Senior Director of Strategic Customer Initiatives at Workiva, with a primary focus on monitoring and evaluating new market opportunities globally. She helped found XBRL International and is one of the original developers for XBRL.