“Sustainable Business in Baden-Württemberg” on 24 June!

June 12, 2024

SMEs struggle with sustainability reporting burdens

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are facing significant challenges with the administrative burden of sustainability reporting, particularly in meeting customers’ and banks’ data requests. SMEs constitute 99% of all businesses in the European Union (EU), contribute over half of the EU’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and employ approximately 100 million people. Given their crucial role in the economy, it is imperative to support these businesses, especially those for whom compliance is most challenging.

Climate & Company’s solution: Workshop series on voluntary SME standard

In response to these challenges, Climate & Company has launched an innovative project aimed at alleviating the administrative burden for SMEs. From February to May 2024, Climate & Company hosted a series of workshops in the Stuttgart area, in collaboration with the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism. This initiative is designed to thoroughly acquaint 5-10 SMEs with the draft voluntary SME standard proposed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).

The workshops guided participating companies in establishing the necessary internal data collection processes for effective sustainability reporting. Additionally, these companies had the opportunity to engage in a field test and participate in the public consultation of EFRAG’s voluntary SME standard.

A significant outcome of this initiative was the development of a comprehensive guide for German SMEs on implementing the voluntary SME standard. This guide includes simplified and abridged versions of the standard’s requirement texts, along with essential tips, assistance, and practical examples to facilitate a smoother reporting process.

Upcoming Event: “Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften in Baden-Württemberg”

On June 24, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism will host an event titled “Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften in Baden-Württemberg” in Stuttgart. During this event, our Analyst, Laura Kaspar, will present the newly developed guidelines for SMEs on the voluntary SME standard. This presentation aims to support SMEs in initiating their sustainability reporting journey, providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge to ease the reporting process.

This event and the ongoing workshop series underscore our commitment to supporting SMEs in navigating the complexities of sustainability reporting, ensuring they can contribute to a more sustainable future without being overwhelmed by administrative burdens.

For more information and to participate in the upcoming workshops or events, please contact us.