Voluntary regime for the publication of the Non-Financial Statement (NFS): publication of the results of the consultation (11 May 2011)

Consob has published on the Institute's website the Report summarizing the results [English language] of the consultation launched with reference to the call for evidence.

On 1 September 2020, a call for evidence containing a series of questions, addressed to market operators, has been published in order to gather information about the reasons for the lack of dissemination of non-financial reporting on a voluntary basis (see "Consob Informa" no. 31/2020 of 7 September 2020).

The legislative decree no. 254 of 30 December 2016, in fact, transposed into our legal system the Directive 2014/95/EU (disclosure of non financial and diversity information) in order to encourage greater transparency about the impacts and policies practiced with reference to non-financial issues. The decree provided that even subjects other than those obliged pursuant to the decree, may, on a voluntary basis, publish a statement of a non-financial nature (NFS), affixing on the declaration the "wording of conformity" of the same, if the declaration itself has been drawn up in compliance with the provisions of the decree, in particular with regard to the certification of the person in charge of the audit pursuant to article no. 3, paragraph 10.

The provision of a voluntary adherence regime to non-financial reporting has the advantage of not imposing on a generalized basis the costs associated with the preparation and publication of the information while, at the same time, allowing the companies concerned to register and inform about their own risks and sustainability features through a standardized report in compliance with national law and EU law. Nonetheless, the number of issuers having joined the voluntary NFS publication regime is still small.

The replies provided to the consultation offered useful elements for assessing the costs and benefits associated with the publication of the NFS by the companies which currently are not subject to this obligation. The outcomes of the Report may represent a tool for analysis for operators who have the intention to undertake a path for approaching non-financial information.

The evidence acquired may also provide useful elements to the national legislator, both with regard to the concrete application of the regime provided for by the decree for voluntary NFSs, and to the choices to be made in the context of the European negotiations that have recently started with reference to the revision of Directive 2014/95/EU on the publication of non-financial information.​