Who does the VSME apply to?

Who does the VSME apply to?

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The Voluntary European Sustainability Reporting Standards (VSME) is a new initiative aimed at assisting non-listed Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) within the European Union (EU) in their sustainability reporting efforts. This voluntary program is part of a larger sustainability strategy and aims to empower smaller businesses by offering a tailored approach to sustainability practices. It is designed to complement existing mandatory reporting standards, providing flexibility for SMEs to voluntarily engage in sustainability reporting.

The VSME pathway is specifically designed for non-listed SMEs in the EU, offering them guidance and support to enhance their sustainability reporting. This initiative is flexible and complements the existing Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Reporting Standards (ESRS) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which target both listed and non-listed SMEs.

Empowering SMEs in Sustainable Practices

One of the key focuses of the VSME pathway is to empower SMEs in adopting sustainable practices. This includes providing them with the necessary tools and resources to enhance transparency and align with the sustainability requirements of larger entities. By participating in sustainability reporting, SMEs can demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable business practices.

The VSME pathway also recognizes the importance of SMEs in the low-carbon transition and aims to include them in the broader sustainable finance ecosystem. Access to sustainable finance can help SMEs fund their sustainability initiatives and contribute to the overall transition to a more sustainable economy.

Tailored Approach for SMEs

The VSME pathway offers a tailored approach to sustainability reporting for SMEs. It takes into account the unique challenges and resources of smaller businesses, providing them with cost-effective transition strategies and proportionate sustainability criteria. This ensures that SMEs can engage in sustainability reporting without being burdened by excessive costs or requirements.

Furthermore, the VSME pathway aims to mitigate the trickle-down effects from larger corporations. By aligning with larger companies' sustainability requirements, SMEs can enhance their competitiveness and market positioning. This can open up new opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with larger entities, creating a more sustainable business ecosystem.

European Commission's Public Consultation

The European Commission is currently conducting a public consultation on new sustainability reporting standards for SMEs under the CSRD. This initiative, developed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), includes exposure drafts for both listed and non-listed SMEs. The purpose of this consultation is to gather feedback from stakeholders and refine the proposed standards.

By participating in the consultation process, SMEs and other stakeholders have the opportunity to shape the future regulatory framework for sustainability reporting. This ensures that the standards are practical, relevant, and aligned with the sustainability goals of the EU. It is important for sustainability managers and SMEs to actively engage in this process to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are considered.

In conclusion, the VSME pathway is a voluntary initiative designed to assist non-listed SMEs in the EU with their sustainability reporting efforts. It offers a tailored approach to sustainability practices, empowering SMEs to align with larger companies' sustainability requirements and contribute to the sustainable economy transition. By participating in the public consultation on new sustainability reporting standards, sustainability managers and SMEs can actively shape the future regulatory framework and ensure their specific needs are met.

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