01.02.2022 | DNK-News

EU taxonomy now integrated into the German Sustainability Code

The EU Taxonomy Regulation came into effect on 1 January 2022. Companies can now use the German Sustainability Code (DNK) to prepare reports that are also in compliance with the EU Taxonomy Regulation. As such, the Sustainability Code is one of the first reporting standards in Germany to integrate the Taxonomy Regulation.

Since the start of this year, companies that are already covered by the German CSR Directive Implementing Act (CSR-RUG) have been obliged, under the Taxonomy Regulation, to disclose more extensive sustainability information. A third of companies in Germany with reporting obligations under the CSR-RUG already use the Sustainability Code to comply with said reporting obligations. The Sustainability Code is therefore the most commonly used standard for satisfying the requirements of the German CSR Directive Implementing Act.

“The implementation of the new EU taxonomy reporting option into the Sustainability Code means that the user-friendly reporting framework in a single format is retained. The Sustainability Code thus remains a proven and accessible transparency standard for companies seeking to satisfy their reporting obligations,” said Prof. Alexander Bassen, longstanding member of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and member of the EFRAG Project Taskforce.

The implementation of the reporting option for the EU taxonomy is based upon an expert academic opinion by Prof. Kerstin Lopatta (University of Hamburg; link only available in German) and an expert legal opinion by Mr. Andreas Hecker LL. M. oec., lawyer at Hoffmann Liebs Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB (link only available in German).

Both expert opinions confirm that the Sustainability Code provides companies that have reporting obligations under CSR-RUG and the EU taxonomy with a suitable instrument for their sustainability reporting.   

“The Taxonomy Regulation is an important step towards the implementation of the European Green Deal. For this to become a reality, investments need to be (re)routed towards sustainable economic activities on a significant scale so that the necessary transformation of the economic system can be financed,” said Bassen. The EU taxonomy is an important EU instrument, albeit also a complex one, for creating comparability and transparency around sustainable economic activities.

> More information on the taxonomy in the Sustainability Code here