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Dive into our comprehensive guide on the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) in the Netherlands. Learn how it shapes corporate transparency in environmental, social, and governance aspects.
The Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), a pivotal piece of legislation in the European Union, plays a crucial role in how large companies disclose information on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. 
This article delves into the essence of NFRD, its implementation in the Netherlands, and its impact on corporate transparency and sustainability.

What is the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD)?

NFRD stands as a landmark directive within the EU, mandating significant companies to include a non-financial statement within their annual reports. This statement encompasses vital areas such as environmental, social, and employee matters, human rights, and anti-corruption policies. The directive's main goal is to ensure transparency and inform stakeholders about corporate practices and their impact on these critical areas.

The Genesis and Significance of NFRD

In 2013, the European Parliament underscored the need for transparent corporate sustainability information. The initiative behind NFRD was to strike a balance between long-term profitability and accountability in social justice and environmental stewardship. The importance of NFRD lies in its role in promoting a sustainable global economy through responsible corporate behavior.


NFRD's Legal Framework in Europe

Adopted in October 2014, the NFRD is supported by non-binding guidelines from the European Commission. These guidelines, aiming to aid companies in delivering high-quality, relevant, and comparable non-financial information, align with global frameworks like the Global Reporting Initiative and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.


Implementation in the Netherlands

As an EU directive, NFRD required incorporation into the national laws of member states. The Netherlands responded with the Decree on the disclosure of diversity policy and the Decree on the disclosure of non-financial information. These laws mandate large listed companies, banks, and insurers to incorporate a non-financial statement in their management reports.


Who Does NFRD Affect?

NFRD applies to large entities fulfilling certain criteria, including a balance sheet total exceeding €20 million, a net turnover beyond €40 million, and an average employee count above 250 for diversity reporting or over 500 for broader non-financial reporting.


Compliance and Oversight

The Dutch Financial Markets Authority (AFM) monitors adherence to these new reporting standards. Their research indicates varied levels of compliance and highlights the need for enhanced transparency, especially concerning climate change impacts.

Looking Ahead: The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

Following a public consultation in 2020, the European Commission proposed the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) as an evolution of the NFRD. This new directive aims to further standardize and enhance the reliability of non-financial reporting across the EU.



The Non-Financial Reporting Directive is more than just a legal requirement in the Netherlands and the EU; it's a step towards a transparent, sustainable, and socially responsible corporate world. As we move forward, the proposed CSRD promises to build on this foundation, ensuring that companies not only thrive economically but also contribute positively to society and the environment.



1. What is the main purpose of the NFRD? The NFRD aims to ensure that large companies report on their environmental, social, and governance practices, enhancing transparency and accountability.
2. How does the NFRD impact companies in the Netherlands? It requires large Dutch companies to include detailed non-financial statements in their annual reports, focusing on ESG factors.
3. What are the criteria for a company to fall under NFRD? Companies must meet at least two of the following: a balance sheet total over €20 million, net turnover more than €40 million, and an average employee count above 250 or 500, depending on the reporting aspect.
4. What changes might the CSRD bring? The CSRD is expected to enhance and standardize the non-financial reporting process, making it more reliable and comparable across the EU.
5. Why is non-financial reporting important? Non-financial reporting is crucial for understanding a company's impact on society and the environment, fostering a sustainable and responsible business model.
6. How does the NFRD align with global sustainability goals? The NFRD's guidelines align with global initiatives like the Global Reporting Initiative and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, promoting corporate practices that support global sustainability efforts.