The Alliance for Corporate Transparency project analyses how European companies disclose information necessary for understanding their impact on society and the environment, as required by the EU Non-financial Reporting Directive. It serves as guidance to companies and regulators, and provides data to substantiate the discussion on the standardisation of sustainability disclosure, which is in turn also a prerequisite for sustainable finance.

This three-year research project brings together leading civil society organisations and experts with the aim of analysing the corporate disclosure on sustainability issues by the 1000 largest companies operating in the EU and providing evidence-based recommendations for legislative changes.

The project is framed within the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive, which came into effect in 2018 and requires large companies and financial corporations to disclose information necessary for understanding their impacts on society and environment. The Directive is a first step in the good direction but failed to specify what concrete information must be disclosed. This severely undermines the legislation’s objective to increase the relevance, consistency and comparability of corporate sustainability data, which is crucial for investors to help inform their decisions as well as for civil society and public authorities to assess and monitor corporate responsibility.

To fill this gap, the project draws from EU law, international standards and leading reporting frameworks in order to determine what information is commonly understood to be essential and material for each industrial sector. More details concerning the methodology of the project are available here (PDF, 10MB).


Project coordinator: Frank Bold // Technical partner: Sustentia

Content partners: Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, CORE Coalition, Future-Fit Foundation, Transparency International, WWF

Advisory Group: ClientEarth, CDP Europe, Germanwatch, Shift Project, Stockholm Environment Institute, Themis Research, Oxfam

Funders: Future Provident Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Charles leopold mayer foundation, Wallace Global Fund

Test partners: NovoNordisk, Repsol, SAP, Vodafone

Academic support provided by Cass Business School

Governance: The project coordinator and technical partner led the overall development of the project including a) Alliance set up, b) elaboration of the research methodology c) analysis of corporate reports and d) communication and outreach strategy.

Content and advisory partners have provided strategic input throughout the project and contributed to the design of the research methodology and key communication activities. These organisations have engaged in the project on a pro-bono basis. Frank Bold and Sustentia take responsibility for any error or inaccuracy in the research and presentation of results.

Test partners engaged in constructive discussions concerning the assessment criteria and the initial tests performed on their corporate reports - this collaboration has been carried out completely pro-bono. Project content partners have veto power on strategic decisions and final results. Similarly, we have also engaged external experts from business and investor organisations in a consultation round hosted in Q3 2018.

Contact: For any queries, please contact Susanna Arus, Project Coordinator at

Newsletter: You can register for our newsletter here to receive updates on the project.