In a period in which the acronym ESG (Environment-Social-Governance) has the same importance as the concept of company, seems to be fundamental having the chance to value how much this latter impacts on it. The non-financial statement has this purpose, the non-financial informational communication to the internal and external main characters, going to highlight in which way the company’s performances combine with the ESG dimensions.
The possibility for a company to transmit this type of information must be seen not only as a duty but also as an opportunity to obtain importance and to increase its own profits. In fact, a clear and correct communication is the key for a future company success. Just because a company is composed not only of costs and revenues, it is more and more necessary an overall communication that considers also these aspects that may influence what revolves inside and outside the company such as the environment, the employees an d the territory. And it is precisely the ever more relevant attention to the respect of the environment and to the energy saving, towards the human resources and the territory, a correct governance and the respect of the rules that have brought to the spontaneous arose of the sustainability report or social balance sheet and successively to the introduction of the obligation of drawing up a non-financial statement.
The non-financial statement: what is it for
With the legislative decree 30 December 2016, n 254, entered in force the 25 of January 2017, is forecast that, starting from the financial statement referred to the financial year 2017, the public interested entities (Eip) with specific characteristics report back non-financial specific information within a statement with a non-financial character or “non-financial statement” (Dnf), depending on what forecast in the statement itself.
The statement seems to be a fundamental tool in the transition process towards a global and sustainable economy, combining long-term profitability, social justice and protection of the environment.
Therefore, the Dnf musty at least contain, in addition to a report of a business model, a description of the policies, of the performances and of the risks regarding relevant contents in environmental, social, regarding the staff, the respect of the human rights, the fight against active and passive corruption topics. In fact, in the writing of the Dnf, the legislator asks a set of minimum information necessary , as the usage of the energetic and hydric resources, the greenhouse gas emission and the polluting emissions, the environmental impact, the health and the safety, the anti-corruption measures and the prevention against the violation of the human rights. The legislator gives the statement redactor the charge of finding which other information may have importance to better present his company.
The company, in redacting the non-financial statement, must adopt a methodology that represents the information, i.e. of the reference standards to use in the communication of the contents of the Dnf. These can be the GRI G4 standard, published by the Global Reporting Initiative, an independent organism dedicated to the definition of the models for the non-financial reporting; the company can also decide to adopt an own reporting back methodology having, in this case, the obligation to provide for a <<clear and articulated description of the methodology applied and the reasons of its usage>> (art.3 par 4).
Considering that the decree, as said, indicates the minimum informative content of the Dnf, the management must, first of all, define the informative perimeter, i.e. value which can be the relevant topics and the relative indicators that must integrate the minimum content requested by the regulation.
The topics indicated beforehand are finally valuated by the management to define those believed to be more representative of the impacts generated by the company in the sustainability sphere, i.e. able to influence the decisions of its own stakeholders regarding such topics.
Once defined the informative content of the Dnf, it is necessary that the company is structured for the gathering of the data, assigning specific responsibilities for the recovering and the certification of the information to the management.
The last step consists in the drawing up of the non-financial statement, that must result a document strongly integrative in the financial informative provided by the company towards the outside. The Dnf –Above all, where drown up, as document separated from the company balance sheet must consider the topics threated in the traditional balance sheet informative and, with it, make a solo informative set.
In this way it is possible to prove that the company’s model blends the profitability and sustainability, i.e. that the company activities done combining long-term profitability, social justice and protection of the environment.