Critical Development for the Turkish Business Landscape: Scope of the Sustainability Reporting Standards Unveiled
In a significant development for Turkey's business environment, the Public Oversight, Accounting, and Auditing Standards Authority has issued a crucial decision concerning Turkish Sustainability Reporting Standards (TSRS). This decision elucidates the conditions that determine which companies fall under the purview of TSRS. Serving as a cornerstone, the decision provides clarity for companies as they incorporate environmental, social, and governance aspects into their sustainability reports.
The Board’s Decision on the Scope of Application of Turkish Sustainability Reporting Standards ("Decision"), issued by the Public Oversight, Accounting and Auditing Standards Authority was published in the official gazette on 29.12.2023.
The Decision defines the scope of application of the Turkish Sustainability Reporting Standards ("TSRS"), serving as the foundation for the preparation of sustainability reports.
What is a Sustainability Report?
A Sustainability Report is a document on environmental, social and governance issues prepared by an enterprise in accordance with the TSRS. It may be published under various names such as sustainability report, integrated report, integrated annual report, executive report.
Which Companies are required to adhere to the TSRS?
A two-stage assessment is conducted to determine which companies are obliged to apply the TSRS:
Firstly, a company must fall into one of the following categories:
a) Companies listed in article 3/1 (a) of the Decision subject to the regulation and supervision of the Capital Markets Board under Law No 6362,
b) Companies listed in article 3/1 (b) of the Decision subject to the regulation and supervision of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency under Banking Law No. 5411,
c) Insurance, reinsurance and pension companies operating under Insurance Law No. 5684 and Individual Pension Savings and Investment System Law No. 4632,
d) Institutions authorized to operate in Borsa Istanbul Markets; authorized institutions, negotiable instruments metals brokerage houses, companies engaged in the production or trade of precious metals.
Secondly, it must exceed at least two of the three thresholds listed below in two consecutive reporting periods.
- Total Assets: TRY 500 million
- Annual Net Sales Revenue: TRY 1 billion
- Number of Employees: 250
Companies meeting both conditions shall implement the Turkish Sustainability Reporting Standards in their sustainability reports.
In determining whether the thresholds are exceeded, the last two years' financial statements and the average number of employees for the last two years are considered. In this determination, companies are evaluated together with their subsidiaries and affiliates.
It is important to note that regardless of the threshold, all banks, except those under the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund, are obliged to comply with the relevant standards.
How Will the Transition Take Place?
In-scope companies are not required to provide comparative information in their first reporting period, and to disclose Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions in their first two annual reporting periods.
Companies may report their sustainability reports for the first annual reporting period in which they apply the TSRS after publishing their financial reports for the relevant period.
The decision shall apply to the accounting periods starting from 01.01.2024.
You can access the full text of the decision here (Available only in Turkish)
 Scope 3 emissions encompass all sources outside of Scopes 1 and 2. In essence, Scope 3 emissions account for the outcomes of activities originating from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting institution. These are assets that the institution indirectly influences within the value chain.
Kemal Altuğ Özgün
Tutku Şen Demirel