The government considers it important for businesses to be transparent about the way they pursue corporate social responsibility (CSR). To this end, businesses are encouraged to issue a report concerning their economic and social performance as well as the environmental efforts that they undertake.
According to entrepreneurs, CSR reporting is conducive to their business. It enables them to show their employees, clients and principals that they are serious and responsible employers and business partners.
OECD Reporting Guidelines
If you use Netherlands Enterprise Agency's subsidies and funding programmes, you must adhere to the OECD Guidelines. According to these regulations, your business must at least provide information about the following:
- the financial and operating results of the company;
- the objectives of the company;
- the key shareholders and the allocation of voting rights; the remuneration policy, including compensation and benefits, for members of the management board and the executive officers as well as additional information on these members. This information includes qualifications, the selection process, other board positions in trade and industry, and the presumed independence of each board member;
- transactions with other organisations;
- the key risk factors that you expect to face;
- matters relating to employees or other stakeholders;
- the corporate governance structure and policy, in particular the contents of a corporate governance code or policy and the way in which it is implemented.
Additional information may comprise the following:
- statements on the values or codes of conduct and the company's policy, including how they are applied in practice;
- information on external audits, risk management and systems for compliance with legal provisions;
- information on the relationship with employees and other stakeholders.
For the full text of the OECD Guidelines, visit the National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines.
Sustainability Reporting Guidelines
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an independent institute that has adopted general guidelines on sustainability reporting. Your business can use these guidelines to communicate the success of your business based on sustainability reporting. GRI has produced a handbook to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) apply the GRI guidelines.
The Transparency Benchmark is an annual survey of the content and quality of CSR reported by Dutch companies.
As the Transparency Benchmark does not issue an opinion on social performance, a high score for the Transparency Benchmark does not imply that a company no longer faces any social problems, dilemmas and discord. Instead, the score shows how transparent a business is in CSR communication.
The criteria of the Transparency Benchmark correspond to those of the Global Reporting Initiative, the Integrated Reporting Council, the OECD Guidelines and EU Directive 2014/95/EU on the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information.
Zero score for the Transparency Benchmark
If a company has received a zero score (no CSR reporting) for the Transparency Benchmark and wishes to take part in an economic mission with a minister, the government will enter into discussions with the company.
The Crystal Prize is awarded to the company with the most transparent annual CSR report. Royal BAM Group won the Crystal Prize in 2017, Alliander was runner-up with Schiphol Group in third place. ABN Amro Bank received the prize for the most innovative annual report. Read more about the Transparency Benchmark.