Our ESG Advisory Group continues to closely monitor new developments concerning the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD”).
On 4 July 2023, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment ("DETE") hosted a webinar to discuss the consultation process it ran earlier this year on the implementation of the CSRD in Ireland. Matheson made a submission to the DETE as part of this consultation seeking clarity on Ireland's transposition of the scope and timing of application of the CSRD.
The key takeaways from the webinar are:
- Scope: Implementation of the CSRD into Irish law will align with the timing and application set out in the CSRD. This is confirmation that:
- Phase I (reporting in 2025 in respect of financial year ended 2024) will apply to large "public interest entities" having more than 500 employees only. A public interest entity includes companies with securities listed on an EU regulated market and does not include those companies with securities listed on non-EU markets.
- Phase II (reporting in 2026 in respect of financial year ended 2025) will apply to all other "large" undertakings or "parent undertakings of a large group" (as defined), which will capture many EU-incorporated companies with securities listed on non-EU markets.
- Commercially sensitive information: DETE signalled that, when transposing the legislation, it intends to allow, in certain limited circumstances envisaged by the CSRD, commercially sensitive information to be excluded from corporate sustainability reporting where disclosure would seriously prejudice the commercial position of the company.
- Sustainability Audit: DETE indicated that the new Irish implementing regulations will allow a statutory auditor or an audit firm other than the one carrying out the statutory audit of the company's financial statements to carry out the assurance of the sustainability reporting.
- Net Turnover Information: DETE flagged that the new Irish rules will not require non-EEA companies with EU subsidiaries and branches in scope of CSRD to submit information on net turnover in the EU and Ireland to a specified body.
- Exempted Entities: The DETE stated that credit unions and friendly societies will be expressly exempt from reporting under the CSRD.
The DETE has indicated that it will publish the submissions made under its public consultation and its policy responses in the near future and that draft implementing regulations may already have been sent to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel; we expect the new Irish regulations to be available by the end of the year. We hope that this much awaited legislation will answer a number of questions for us and our clients on the application of the CSRD.
Corporate partner, Susanne McMenamin commented: "One year out from the transposition deadline for CSRD, the DETE has given us welcome clarification on some of the policy options involved in transposition. Given the extent of the changes that lie ahead for our clients, we're particularly happy to see the department respond to the concerns raised regarding which entities are in or out of the first wave of reporting. Preparing for CSRD is a major undertaking for many of our clients and the advantage of early engagement cannot be overstated."
Click here to view the webinar presentation slides.
For more information on the above, or for further guidance and insight in respect of CSRD generally, please contact Susanne McMenamin, Michael Sinnott or your usual Matheson contact.