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Doing business in Denmark: Sustainability

24 March 2012
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 30 March 2012

Danish legislation requires companies to account for their social responsibility.


Legal requirements

The Danish Financial Statements Act requires large companies to account for their social responsibility.

Financial Statements Act

There are special Executive Orders concerning financial reports that apply to pension funds, insurance, credit institutions and fund brokers.

Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is about businesses using their business activities to help meet social challenges, both nationally and globally.

Corporate social responsibility

The Danish government has launched an action plan on corporate social responsibility. It consists of 30 initiatives distributed over four areas, of which the first three directly relate to corporate responsibility:

  • promotion of business-driven social responsibility;
  • promotion of CSR through state activities;
  • encouraging businesses to be environmentally friendly.

Action plan on corporate social responsibility


The Danish government recommends adopting the UN principles for responsible investment (UN PRI) and the UN Global Compact.

The UN principles for responsible investment (UN PRI) are six general guidelines for investors' work on social responsibility. Every company that has investment activities can use the principles.

The Global Compact consists of ten principles on how a company can work responsibly in relation to human rights, employee rights, the environment and fighting corruption.

Global Compact


The law requires businesses to comply with minimum social and environmental rules.

Administrative procedures

Reporting on corporate social responsibility

Companies that have to account for their social responsibility work in their annual report must provide information on:

  • the company's social responsibility policies, including any standards, guidelines or principles relating to social responsibility that the company uses;
  • how the company turns its social responsibility policies into action, including any systems or procedures for this;
  • the company's assessment of what has been achieved as a result of its social responsibility work during the financial year, and the company's expectations for future work, if any.

If the company has not drawn up any social responsibility policies, this must be explained.

The social responsibility account must be inserted into the management report in the annual report. Alternatively, the company can insert the social responsibility account into a supplementary report to the annual report, or on the company's website. However, the management report must state where the account can be found.

Government website on social responsibility

Guidelines on social responsibility accounts


Business-driven social responsibility incorporates social responsibility into a company's business strategy and helps improve profitability and enhance their competitiveness.

Practical guide to corporate social responsibility

The Social Index is a tool that focuses on a socially responsible working environment. It emphasises dialogue between managers and workers as a tool for achieving better social commitment in the workplace.

Social index

The CSR compass helps businesses deal with their various obligations with regard to social and environmental responsibility.

CSR compass

The climate compass helps Danish businesses produce a climate strategy and calculate their CO2 emissions.

Climate compass

Doing business in Denmark: Environmental rules

Doing business in Denmark: Staff welfare

Source: European Commission

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