Assessment criteria

There have been major changes to the criteria in comparison with previous years. The old set of criteria were mainly derived from the GRI and IIRC guidelines. By contrast, the latest set of criteria reflect the most recent developments in reporting social information.

Among other things, the formulation of the criteria has been based on the Sustainable Development Goals, the EU Directive on non-financial information (EUD NFI), the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the Corporate Governance Code and the Natural Capital Protocol, as well as on climate-related financial disclosures and chain transparency.

The amended criteria place more emphasis on:

  • actions, decisiveness and content;
  • future orientation in the light of the continuous improvement process;
  • the context in which an organisation is active, also regarding strategic objectives;
  • connectivity

Fewer criteria and more focus on content

The current set of criteria has been reduced from 40 to 20, which decreases the time pressure on completing the benchmark. As a result, the maximum number of points to be achieved by an organisation has also halved from 200 to 100.
The scoring of different elements in the reporting has been altered to prioritise its content over its quality or layout. In the past, both the content-oriented and the quality-oriented standards framework were worth 50% of the points. After this year's changes, the content-oriented standards framework will be awarded 65% of the points and the quality-oriented standards framework 35%.

Sectors and relevant score

Based on a materiality analysis for each sector and the risk analysis for the CSR sector, individual criteria with a 5-point maximum have been designed per sector. These criteria increase the differentiation between the various sectors and the material aspects of relevance in each.
Added in 2019 are not only the sector criteria but also the option for organisations to select “not applicable” for a number of criteria. If the party performing the Transparency Benchmark assesses and approves the explanation of the relevant criterion, it will not count towards the score.
The addition of the category “not applicable” means that the full score of 100 points is no longer available to all participating organisations. As a result, it has been decided from next year on to use a relative/percentage score, which divides the number of points obtained by the maximum number of points possible.

The criteria of the Transparency Benchmark were updated in 2014, when alignment was sought with both the Integrated Reporting Framework of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the next-generation G4 guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (download overview).
There have been major changes to the 2019 criteria in comparison with previous years. The old set of criteria were mainly derived from the GRI and IIRC guidelines. By contrast, the latest set of criteria reflect the most recent developments in reporting social information. Among other things, the Sustainable Development Goals and chain transparency have been awarded greater prominence in the new criteria, while elements have also been added from the EU Directive on non-financial information (EUD NFI), the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the Corporate Governance Code, the Natural Capital Protocol and climate-related financial disclosures.