11 Expert Working Groups (EWGs) will provide input for the development of the European sustainability reporting standards drafting.

The European Commission’s proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) currently under discussion by the EU co-legislators, provides that EFRAG would develop draft European sustainability reporting standards, using proper due process, public oversight and transparency, and with the expertise of relevant stakeholders.

Commissioner McGuinness, in a letter dated 12 May 2021, has requested EFRAG to put in place interim working methods to start the technical work immediately. Technical work by the Project Task Force on European sustainability reporting standards (PTF-ESRS) is well under way, organised in clusters. These clusters are currently drafting the very first version of the standards, and will have preliminary pre-exposure draft versions on different topics ready gradually, with the first one aimed for the end of November 2021.

On 25 August 2021 EFRAG launched a call for candidates for setting up Expert Working Groups (EWGs) with expertise and experience on sustainability matters, to provide input for the development of draft European sustainability reporting standards. A very large number of high quality applications for membership of the EWGs were received that were carefully considered and analysed under the supervision of the EFRAG Board President Jean Paul Gauzes.

During the selection process strong emphasis was given to identifying candidates with high level of expertise and experience on the specific areas and topics listed in the call for candidates whilst respecting an optimal balance for professional background, nationality and gender.

The EWGs are expected to review, provide input and, where necessary, contribute to the work of the PTF-ESRS on the basis of the preliminary pre-exposure draft version of the standards to be submitted to them. The preliminary pre-exposure draft version will be further developed to accommodate input from the EWGs, to get to the pre-exposure draft for the next steps of the standard- setting process.

A total of eleven EWGs have been created as detailed below. The EWGs are anticipated to start their work as soon as relevant materials are available for input for each of them. The experts will work on following topics :

  • Conceptual guidelines
  • Cross-cutting standards
  • Environment – Climate
  • Environment – Other
  • Social – Workforce
  • Social – Other
  • Governance
  • Governance – Other matters
  • Sector-specific standards
  • SMEs
  • Format

“We are strongly encouraged by the willingness to contribute to the development of draft European sustainability reporting standards. The overwhelming number of applications for the Expert Working Groups from high calibre sustainability reporting experts from Europe and even beyond demonstrates the great importance of this work for all stakeholders.

Jean-Paul Gauzès, EFRAG Board President

Source: EFRAG