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Leading the world in ESG reporting: Visma Connect at the XBRL Conference

As a global leader in standard business and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, Visma Connect team members attended the XBRL Conference in Paris to chair discussions on sustainability reporting and share insights on the importance of secure, standardised data exchange.

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 Visma Connect recognises that today, data is the world’s most valuable resource. The company attended the XBRL Europe Conference as one of the companies at the forefront of standard business reporting and taxonomies. These technologies are increasingly used in sustainability reporting as well. Demand for structured sustainability data exchange is rapidly growing for exchange between companies and for submitting this information with supervisory authorities; for these purposes, the language of choice is XBRL.   

As XBRL is the language used in standard business reporting programmes, XBRL Europe was set up to foster European XBRL efforts and implement common XBRL projects across the continent between its members and liaise with European Authorities and organisations. Sustainability and ESG reporting were high on the agenda at XBRL Europe, with new regulations coming into effect soon.

Visma Connect’s René van der Meij chaired the ESG session during the XBRL event, in which Patrick de Cambourg (chair of PTF-ESRS) gave an extensive update on the progress of the CSRD and the ESRS. The expected date of the agreed CSRD text was released on the 30th of June, and is now available.  Moreover, in November, the EFRAG will propose the first set of draft standards to the European Commission, in order to have it adopted in Q1 2023. Nili Shah (Executive Technical Director at the IFRS Foundation) offered insight into the reason the ISSB was initiated and their outlook for the coming months. Finally Chie Mitsui gave a presentation on sustainability reporting in Japan. Sustainability reporting is already widely adopted and effective in Japan, where the ISSB’s taxonomy will be used in the future.

During the round table, discussions were held on the challenges going forward. The main topic of discussion was harmonisation between the standards, to lower the administrative burden for issuers. Interconnectivity of financial and ESG taxonomies was also a key theme, With XBRL Europe's workgroup, René van der Meij published papers on the need for interconnectivity between the taxonomies available here

Visma Connect aims to enable a sustainable society by simplifying and automating trustworthy accountability reporting. The first step to this sustainable future is to set clear goals and performance indicators shared within organisations and with stakeholders.

Today, chief financial and sustainability officers are tasked with complying with new and complex sustainability reporting regulations. Sustainability data is often unstructured and generally of lower quality than financial data. To meet sustainability reporting regulations, system integrity needs to be improved, and companies must move beyond spreadsheets and email. 

Supply Chain Sustainability is a Matter of Persistence

Supply Chain Sustainability is a Matter of Persistence InstaLarge-scale events like the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have exposed the vulnerability of global supply chains. Even small incidents like the Suez canal blockage can have many ripple effects. This goes to show how complex supply chains really are. At the same time, pressure is mounting to mitigate their sustainability impact. We have all heard about the problem: from the large-scale transport of animal feed between South America and Europe to the consequences of fast fashion. The big question is: how can business leaders make conscious choices to embrace sustainability in such a complex landscape?  We spoke with Professor Julia Hartmann to address this question.  Read the full conversation here

Similarly, Governments today are no strangers to digital transformation. They need to combine modern-day efficiency in communication with relevant policy-making and accountability. Citizens and companies expect faster decision-making but also privacy and security.

Visma Connect offers a solution to both issues with seamlessly integrated and secure ESG reporting. “Since day one, Visma Connect has been a pioneer in qualified messaging and smart information exchange,” says  Visma Connect’s René van der Meij who chaired the ESG reporting round table at the XBRL Europe conference. 

“We facilitate efficient, secure and standardised data exchange for the Dutch government and the state of Florida, among others, through our Standard Business Reporting services. Today, we have standard definitions (Taxonomies) that make it easier for companies to submit their reports and for government agencies to collaborate. This will become increasingly important as the new EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive comes into force in 2024.”

The corporate sustainability reporting directive (CSRD) amends the 2014 non-financial reporting directive. It introduces more detailed reporting requirements and ensures that large companies are required to report on sustainability issues such as environmental rights, social rights, human rights and governance factors.

Roughly all European companies with over 250 employees will be legally required to comply with the CSRD, which will most likely become effective as of January 1, 2024. In addition, capital providers such as banks and institutional investors will also need to comply with new sustainability reporting requirements under new European legislation for financial market participants. Companies must also collect more detailed sustainability information from their supply chain partners. 

At Visma Connect, we know that the quality of sustainability data begins with your subsidiaries and supply chain partners and that data validation, the quality of your processes, system integrity and security determine its maturity level. Sustainability data must be reliable, comparable and standardised across departments and industries. Only then can it be used as an effective tool by businesses, governments and capital providers. 

Visma Connect is a well-established world leader with a proven track record. Working with Visma Connect ensures governments and organisations can reach the next level in sustainability reporting. 

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