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UniCredit Bulbank gathered leading experts for a discussion meeting on successful and fair ESG transition and clarifications on the new requirements of regulators

UniCredit Bulbank gathered leading experts for a discussion meeting on successful and fair ESG transition and clarifications on the new requirements of regulators Author: UniCredit Bulbank / All rights reserved.

During the event, ESG consultants and experts from the bank and the business shared their best practices and guidance on how to properly structure companies goals, how all the new requirements can be opportunities for business development and success and what's next on the first wave of ESG/CSRD

The UniCredit Bulbank team and leading experts from the consulting sector and business held a discussion meeting on the topic: Challenges facing large companies: how to choose the right ESG partner, what is coming under the first wave of ESG/CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) and how businesses can prepare. The event was held at the International Center of UniCredit Bulbank and marked the beginning of a series of workshops and trainings planned by the Bank to support businesses on their path to sustainable transformation and to facilitate them in meeting new regulatory requirements.

The new CSRD, which will come into force in the 2024 reporting year, will significantly expand the scope of mandatory reporting for companies compared to the current situation and reporting under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). In 2025, the scope will be extended and companies with more than 250 employees, a turnover of more than EUR 50 million or a balance sheet of more than EUR 25 million will also be required to report.

Borislav Bangeev, Director Corporates and Member of the Management Board of UniCredit Bulbank shared some successful practices from the Bank, which invariably start with training the team and clearly defining the real challenges that need to be overcomed on the path to sustainable development. Borislav Bangeev also focused on the active partnership of the Bank, a market leader in corporate banking, to prepare its clients in the ESG transformation process. "UniCredit Bulbank's corporate strategy is deeply rooted in the implementation of ESG factors in everything we do. We are aware that all large companies will need to adapt to sustainable criteria and we are strongly committed to ensuring a sustainable and equitable transition for our clients," he said.

"It is important to make this transition together and to listen to our partners," said Bilyana Mladenova-Mileva, ESG Strategy Manager at UniCredit Bulbank. Bilyana focused on the new requirements under the first wave of CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive). The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will set a new stage in reporting and will have a significant impact for companies and their stakeholders in the interest of a more sustainable economy and the integration of environmental and social factors into decision-making processes. "Companies will need to review their reporting processes, assessing their performance through the principle of double materiality, on the one hand how the company impacts all aspects of sustainability and on the other how the environment and society impact the company's activities and its financial position," commented Biliana.

Boyan Rashev highlighted that sustainability reporting is becoming a mandatory part of annual reports, and the management of companies should be highly engaged and assist the process. The application of EU standards (EU Sustainability Reporting Standards ESRS) and external auditing is also becoming mandatory.

The panel discussion was also attended by business representatives Ivan Dobrev, CEO of KCM AD, Sergey Vlaykov, CFO of Sofia Med, Tsvetomir Uzunov, CFO of Discordia and Severin Vartigov, CFO of Enery. Participants discussed the importance of ESG investments and how they can improve the financial performance, rating and sustainability of the business. An important focus of the meeting was also how businesses are preparing for the challenges and opportunities that are ahead in the sustainable transition process. Panelists exchanged ideas and shared their best practices and tools for managing ESG risks, and guests in attendance had the opportunity to establish a new partnerships in ESG investing and sustainable entrepreneurship.

Following the success of the first discussion meeting, UniCredit Bulbank plans to organize series of workshops and trainings to support businesses in their journey towards sustainable transformation and meeting regulatory requirements. The Bank strives to be an active partner to its customers in achieving their ESG goals and continue to support the sustainable development of business and society for a successful and equitable sustainable transition.