Almost a year ago, the French government announced the launch of the Impact.gouv.fr platform, enabling companies to publish their environmental, social and good governance data. While the Ministry hopes to use this tool to lay the operational foundations for a more responsible form of capitalism, a number of players deplore the lack of clarity in the platform's objectives with regard to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Anticipating European CSR regulations in the years ahead
The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will be applicable from 2023 and will require 50,000 French and European companies with more than 250 employees to report extra-financial data concerning their environmental impacts, and their social and governance practices. To support SMEs that do not always have the resources to meet these regulatory requirements, the government announced on May 27, 2021 the launch of the Impact.gouv.fr platform.
Thanks to this tool, companies can fill in all or part of the 47 ecological, social and governance indicators to gain an overview of their level of progress in the transition to more responsible business models.
Olivia Grégoire, Secretary of State for the Social, Solidarity-based and Responsible Economy, explained at the time of the announcement that the indicators " will not give rise to a rating by the government ".
A lack of clarity and political will
Despite the government's stated objectives, some players are critical of the lack of clarity on the Impact.gouv.fr platform.
According to Caroline Neyron, Managing Director of Mouvement Impact France, interviewed by Maddyness, the word "Impact" is not appropriate, as it "implies a high level of commitment on the part of companies, whereas this tool does not have the criteria for impact ".
What's more, although the tool allows companies to report their ESG data, it doesn't give them the opportunity to position themselves in relation to other indicators. " It would be interesting for companies to see where they stand in relation to the country's commitments," she suggests.
On its website, the movement also deplores the optional nature of Impact.gouv.fr, which could be used to plan " a transformation strategy to meet the country's social and environmental challenges ".
New services for businesses
Last March, the French government announced that it would be enhancing the services offered on the Impact.gouv.fr platform, managed by the Direction Générale des Entreprises (DGE), toanticipate changes in reporting requirements in the run-up to negotiations between the European Parliament and Council on the draft CSRD directive.
The new version is designed to help companies improve and demonstrate their ESG performance. Following initial feedback from users, the site's ergonomics have been redesigned, and it is now possible toexport a customizedCSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)report based on the data entered.