What is the Sustainability Code?

The Sustainability Code is the new tool for non-financial reporting in the Turkish Market. As an internationally applicable transparency standard for corporate responsibility, it was designed to meet the requirements of globally active companies and the financial market equally. The Code’s criteria will be available for the public as well as open for comments and evaluation from stakeholders at the end of spring 2019.

 

How would you like to handle sustainability reporting in a more efficient way?

Modern, brief, free of charge and with local experts in your country.

The good news is:

The Sustainability Code is coming to Turkey!

The public discussion about the biggest challenges that mother earth and its inhabitants face nowadays, climate change and social issues call for businesses to open up about how they impact the world. Reporting on sustainability issues, however, can be resource consuming and with little outcome. The Sustainability Code assists companies in reporting on non-financial performance, with a clear focus on transparency and materiality. At the same time, the Code provides support with establishing a sustainable development strategy and offers a convenient way into sustainability reporting.

The code originates from Germany, where it was developed in 2010 by the German Council for Sustainable Development in a dialogue process with various stakeholder groups. Since 2018, the international team of the local Türk Sürdürülebilirlik Kodu office has been working on the national adaption for Turkey. The Sustainability Code is currently in a stage of consultation with experts for the implementation and also open for stakeholders who would like to have their say.  

 

 

 

Reporting with the Sustainability Code

The preparation and submission of a code declaration will be free of charge and carried out via a database on the code website. The Code Office will be checking the code declarations for formal completeness and give users qualified feedback.

 

To comply with the Sustainability Code, users submit a declaration to the Code database of conformity with 20 Code criteria and a set of additional non-financial performance indicators taken either from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS).

  The code is valuable for:

The principle of “comply or explain”

The principle includes the option to comprehensively report on the relevant aspects (“comply”) or to outline why data or policies are not presented (“explain”). Some of the 20 Code criteria may not affect every company or maybe work on the topic has not progressed far enough to provide a statement about it. This does not hinder an organisation from publishing a Code declaration. In such a case, the user may simply explain why a criterion can not, or only in part, be reported on. 

There will be synergies

Using the sustainability code will be rewarded with extra points in the Ecovadis rating. Participants of the UN Global Compact can also use the Code declaration as a communication on progress (COP), and fulfil the Global Compact by only adding a statement made by the management board.

Question: Who may apply the Sustainability Code?

The Code can be applied by companies and organisations of any size and legal form. Users will include both large and small, public and private companies, organisations both with or without existing sustainability reporting, companies with capital market orientation and companies that simply want to inform stakeholders about their corporate activities in the area of sustainability. Optionally the Code can be used to comply with the German EU-CSR directive implementation act reporting obligation.

Question: What are the advantages of the code?

The publicly accessible Code database creates visibility for companies. The published reports can be compared with one another. Usage of the Code database will be free of charge, including qualified feedback! As time is valuable, the Code declaration is expected to be short (500-3000 characters per criterion) in order to express relevant information succinctly. Companies only need to gather data and fill out their declaration. Furthermore, regular reporting makes a company’s development and improvements over time visible. As all companies answer according to the same 20 criteria, readers can quickly and easily see at glance differences in the quality of the information provided. This makes the reporting process more transparent and more credible.