May 20, 2021
GPW and EBRD Publish “ESG reporting Guidelines”

An ESG reporting manual for listed issuers which structures and organises relevant guidelines and recommendations has been published by the Warsaw Stock Exchange in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development the ESG reporting Guidelines. Effective management of environmental, social and governance factors has been gaining prominence over the years under increasing pressure of the environment including evolving expectations of investors and the financial industry, legislative amendments and rising awareness of the general public. Other key drivers include new business opportunities, such as growing demand for sustainable products and services, the aspiration of businesses to be an attractive employer, as well as changing customer behaviour.

The ESG reporting Guidelines for GPW Listed Companies have been prepared in accordance with national and European Union regulations, including the Accountancy Act taking into account the Non-Financial Reporting Directive and the Directive itself (NFRD/CSRD), the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the EU Taxonomy Regulation at EU level, as well as the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) at the global level. The Guidelines are also based on the top corporate governance standards defined in the Best Practice for GPW Listed Companies 2021.

“As one of key ESG initiatives, we support issuers’ non-financial reporting. This is why we are publishing the ESG reporting Guidelines for GPW Listed Companies which provide hands-on tips and solutions based on recognised international non-financial reporting standards. The Guidelines have been designed with the contribution of many capital market institutions which understand the imperative of raising the standards of ESG reporting. I wish to thank the EBRD, Steward Redqueen and all other institutions which have contributed to the Guidelines for their commitment and for sharing their expertise and experience. The Guidelines will provide small and mid-sized companies with a roadmap for measuring their impact on the environment while defining a code of good practice for market leaders,” said Izabela Olszewska, Member of the GPW Management Board.

From the international perspective, the Guidelines will help to strengthen the position of the Polish capital market and interest from investors in companies listed on GPW. Investors are required to know how well companies are prepared to manage ESG factors, which may become a precondition of access to capital. Improved quality of ESG reporting will assist economic transition in line with the sustainable development goals.

“The EBRD is committed to supporting Poland in its transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy in line with the EU sustainability finance considerations. In 2020, more than two-thirds of our investment in Poland was green. As part of our country policy engagement, we are pleased to have been able to support our partner GPW in developing the Guidelines. This work takes into account the increased demand from investors for consistent and comparable ESG company data and integrates the key principles of the EU sustainable finance framework. The Guidelines aim at supporting the transition to a climate-neutral, green, competitive and inclusive economy and position GPW as a sustainability leader in the region. We look forward to supporting capital markets and our clients with Corporate Sustainability Reporting in the future,”-  said Grzegorz Zielinski Director, Regional Head of Central Europe and Baltics, at EBRD.

The ESG reporting Guidelines for GPW Listed Companies help to explain in detail the reasons behind ESG disclosures being essential, what they really are, and how to start reporting. Nevertheless, reporting is a complicated and arduous process as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. With analysis of what are stakeholders’ needs, companies are required to find solutions that best fit their business models and business segments. The Guidelines detail the process step by step from a practical perspective.

“The ESG Reporting Guidelines we developed are based on extensive engagement with a range of stakeholders from Poland and international investors. Our goal was to build on EU regulations and international sustainability reporting frameworks in such a way that Polish issuers and other interested parties will be happy to use this product. We congratulate WSE with this step and thank them, EBRD and the Responsible Business Forum for the collaboration” Wouter Scheepens, partner Steward Redqueen

- I am very pleased that we participated in the process of introducing the ESG reporting Guidelines. The stakeholder consultation conducted by the Responsible Business Forum shows the need for clear solutions supporting companies in incorporating ESG issues in management strategies and reporting process. And - what is equally important - openness and understanding of business for the need for changes supporting sustainable development. We are facing the implementation of ambitious goals, transformation to match the climate, environmental and social challenges. The guidelines, we deeply believe, will be very helpful in this process - says Marzena Strzelczak, President, General Director of the Responsible Business Forum.

With regard to the growing importance of non-financial reporting, GPW is preparing to invite the addressed issuers, including webinars and training rounds, a range of information initiatives.

Read the ESG reporting GuidelinesGuide for issuers

Source: GPW