Consob Report 2021 on non-financial reporting of Italian listed companies has been published (8 July 2022)

The 2021 Report on non-financial reporting of Italian listed companies examines, for the fourth consecutive year, the effects of the entry into force of Directive 2014/95/EU, implemented in Italy with Legislative Decree 254/2016, with the aim of capturing any signs of the consideration of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors in the definition of business models, in the decision-making process, in corporate governance strategies and models.

The first section contains information on Non-Financial Statements (DNF), published in 2021 by 151 listed companies and on the selection process of materiality analysis. Compared to the latter, there is a greater diffusion of certain behaviours related to the involvement of internal structures or bodies (116 cases; there were 114 in 2020) in the process of identifying the relevant issues and the Board of Directors (51 cases, in continuous increase compared to 39 in 2020 and 21 in 2019) in the finalisation of the same, while the number of issuers involving external stakeholders has slightly decreased compared to last year (81 in 2021, 83 in 2020).

In addition, in order to identify the signs of a possible integration of ESG factors in the corporate vision, the same section examines the abstracts of the Strategic Plans published by 63 companies on their websites, which show that 30 companies integrate long-term considerations on sustainability, 16 connect the strategy to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and 8 (companies active in the Energy/Oil and Gas sector) integrate in the communication of the thematic strategy that generate value in the short and long term, describing the connections between financial and non-financial issues.

The second section of the Report gathers indicators of the integration of ESG factors into the board's decision-making process. During 2021, among the companies that drafted the DNF, 49 renewed the board; of them, 34 published guidelines for the appointment of the new board of directors, mentioning non-financial issues in 25 cases (51% of the total companies that renewed the board compared to 38% in 2020).

In the Council's self-assessment, ESG factors are mentioned in 45 cases (37 in 2020), while 53 issuers have included them in the induction programmes provided to board members (32 in 2020).

The third section analyses, on the basis of the Remuneration Policy Reports published in 2021, the integration of ESG factors into CEO remuneration policies. Issuers that integrate non-financial factors into the remuneration of CEOs are 106, up sharply compared to 2020, when the figure stood at 63. In particular, the reference to these parameters concerns short-term remuneration in 97 cases (53 in 2020) and the long-term component in 56 cases (29 in 2020).

The last section includes an addendum with the results of an analysis, carried out by the researchers Matteo La Torre and Paola Tamburro of the University of Chieti-Pescara through a Natural Language Processing platform, aimed at verifying the evolution of environmental information made in DNF in the period 2018-2021, which shows that the reporting of environmental information has matured over time a growing degree of articulation and detail and that information on the performance and environmental impacts of companies have become increasingly relevant.