Last June 26, the European Commission adopted the guidelines on the disclosure of environmental and social information (the so-called non-financial reporting), which are non-binding but will undoubtedly have a great influence in companies around Europe.
These guidelines follow the Directive 2014/95/EU as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups and represent, among others, an important milestone from the disability perspective, in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Sustainability and company reporting, providing a wider and more complete understanding of the diversity issue.
Thanks to the work of entities such as Fundación ONCE, the recent adopted guidelines contain specific and various references to people with disabilities in relation to topics such as employee and board diversity, accessibility of products and services, and human rights (with mention to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities). Even examples of key performance indicators have been included, such as the number of people with disabilities employed or how accessible companies’ facilities, documents and websites are to people with disabilities.
Developed in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs these guidelines will contribute to foster the integration of disability issues in company business strategies, being that there are already significant examples in practice, as some initiatives show (for example, the European Network for CSR and Disability led by Fundación ONCE between 2010 and 2015 with the co-funding of the European Social Fund -about to be re-launched-, or the ILO Global Business and Disability Network). Relevant practical instruments in the area of non-financial reporting have also been developed, such as the pioneering Guide on “Disability and Sustainability Reporting” elaborated by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Fundación ONCE, again with the co-funding of the ESF, and applicable at international level.
In conclusion, after the incorporation of disability as part of the 2011 EU CSR agenda, still valid, and within the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs as well, the new guidelines on reporting of non-financial information reaffirm the position disability has been gaining in relevant CSR and Sustainability agendas.
For more information contact: Carla Bonino at the European Programmes Unit, Fundación ONCE: firstname.lastname@example.org