Development of Non-financial Reporting: the Case of Estonian Listed Companies
Keywords:CSRD, NFRD, non-financial reporting disclosures, sustainability reporting
Non-financial reporting as "the way to disclose how companies operate and manage social and environmental challenges" is gaining popularity during last decade and is constantly changing field of study. Being non-mandatory for most companies the non-financial information is disclosed in the form of Environmental reports, CSR reports, Social activity reports, SDG and ESG reporting.
During recent five years a growing body of literature has been discussing how the EU member states are ratifying non-financial reporting Directive 2014/95/EU (NFRD) (Camilleri, 2017), its impact on the quality of the non-financial reporting (Ottenstein et al., 2021, Schroder, 2022, Lippai-Makra et al., 2022).) and the importance for investors (Amel-Zadeh & Serafeim,2018). This directive requires large public interest entities with over 500 employees (listed companies, banks, and insurance companies) to disclose certain non-financial information. These changes seem to be challenging and require companies to review their compliance with the latest requirements.
The aim of this study is to determine whether the Estonian listed companies have implemented the requirements of the NFRD and what are the major changes related to its enforcement as well as the preferred way of disclosing non-financial information. Authors have conducted a qualitative content analysis of non-financial information of companies in the period of 2015-2020. The sample of the survey includes thirteen companies listed on the main list of the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange as of 31.12.2021 as. Authors analysed non-financial information disclosed in the 78 reports of companies by selected areas on the basis of a unified valuation model. The main focus is on the content of the reports and on the changes that have taken place during the research period.
The main findings revealed that in general companies have successfully complied with the requirements stipulated by the NFRD. The relevance, consistency and comparability of the information disclosed have improved over the years.
In general, it can be concluded that mandatory requirements for the harmonization of non- financial information are important and contribute to the measurement and monitoring of the activities of companies and their impact on society and environment.
please note that this research constitutes a part of Ms.TPiret Tamm master thesis, defended in January 2023, in Estonian. Diploma work is also written in Estonian language store in TTU digital library.