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The AMF publishes a second educational report on taxonomy reporting by listed companies
20 November 2023

The AMF publishes a second educational report on taxonomy reporting by listed companies

Following a first analysis of listed companies' reporting on the taxonomy published in November 2022, the AMF is publishing a second report this year analysing the quality of the information provided by 31 non-financial companies on the eligibility and alignment of their activities with the European taxonomy. This study provides an in-depth look of the regulation and identifies best practices to help companies improve their reporting, which should help steer investment towards sustainable economic activities.

The Taxonomy Regulation is a European system for classifying economic activities to identify those considered to be environmentally sustainable. The Regulation and its delegated acts establish an evolving list of "eligible" activities, i.e. those likely to contribute to environmental objectives, and define criteria for assessing the sustainability of each one of them. An activity is sustainable (and therefore “aligned” with the European Taxonomy) if it meets three conditions: it contributes to at least one of the six European environmental objectives, it does not harm any of the other objectives, and it respects minimum social and societal safeguards. Companies that publish non-financial statements must communicate their level of eligibility and, since 2023 for non-financial companies, the level of sustainability of their activities according to the taxonomy.

As part of its study, the AMF analysed the taxonomy information of a sample group of 31 listed non-financial companies of various sizes and sectors.  On the whole, the companies surveyed have continued their efforts undertaken since 1 January 2022: the vast majority have published the various indicators requested, together with contextual information. However, the explanations and figures published appear to be heterogeneous and difficult to compare from one issuer to another.

For this second year of reporting, the information provided by the companies surveyed on the nature of their eligible activities is generally satisfactory. Nevertheless, the AMF stresses the need to explain changes on the eligibility rate from one financial year to the next, in a context where almost a third of companies have identified new eligible activities for example. 

Non-financial companies reported for the first time in 2023 on the extent to which their economic activities are taxonomy-aligned with the two climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives. The report highlights the following key findings in this area:

  • Almost all companies have limited themselves to analysing the contribution of their activities to the climate change mitigation objective and have not given sufficient consideration to the climate change adaptation objective. The AMF stresses the importance of analysing the contributions to the different objectives of the taxonomy in order to fully respect the regulations;
  • Several companies have chosen not to disclose the extent to which some of their activities are aligned due to legal uncertainties;
  • Few companies have identified sustainable investment plans, although this information is important for reporting on their transition efforts;
  • Almost a third of the companies surveyed reported alternative indicators on a voluntary basis. This is an option, provided that it is not given more prominence than the regulatory information, at the risk of misleading readers.

The analysis of eligible and aligned economic activities raises a number of methodological issues and operational challenges for companies. The latter have often encountered problems accessing data and uncertainties over the interpretation of the taxonomy’s technical criteria, which can sometimes help to explain the reduced scope for analysis or the use of estimates. The AMF specifies that companies must communicate more extensively about the limitations and key methodological choices made in preparing their taxonomy reporting. 

The taxonomy has recently been extended to include four new environmental objectives that will have to be considered for the next reports in 2024. Hence, specific sustainability criteria have been defined for the objectives on biodiversity protection, the protection of water and marine resources, the transition to a circular economy and pollution prevention and control. Comprehensive reporting by issuers is essential if other financial market stakeholders (asset managers, insurers, advisers, etc.) are to incorporate sustainability into their decision-making and financial product offerings in the future.   

“As part of its strategic orientations for 2023-2027, the AMF has set itself the priority of promoting more sustainable finance. We therefore pay the utmost attention to the quality of non-financial information, which is essential to ensure investor confidence. The findings of this informative report will enable companies to continue their communication efforts regarding the sustainability of their activities,” declared Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, chair of the AMF.

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AMF Communications Directorate
Prise de parole
12 March 2024
Speech by Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, AMF Chair - Conference organised by the Master’s in Business Law, and the Master’s in Corporate Finance and Financial Engineering, as part… Speech by Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, AMF Chair - Conference organised by the Master’s in Business Law, and the Master’s in Corporate Finance and Financial Engineering, as part of the House of Finance Days – “Sustainable Finance: Risks and opportunities ...