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EU Taxonomy

The EU taxonomy is a classification system, establishing a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. It could play an important role helping the EU scale up sustainable investment and implement the European green deal.

Link: Council Regulation (EU) 2020/852

Attention! This website is still an ongoing project. Therefore, the content is currently under development.


Content of this page:

Please cite this register in conjunction with the following article:
Hummel, K., Jobst, D., 2022. The Current State of Corporate Sustainability Reporting Regulation in the European Union.


The Taxonomy Regulation was proposed as part of the EU Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth (COM(2018) 97 final), which aims at redirecting capital flows toward a more sustainable economy.

For that purpose, the Taxonomy Regulation applies to policy measures targeting sustainable financing activities, financial market participants within the scope of the SFDR and companies subject to the NFRD and has consequences for mandatory reporting on these activities.

Adoption of the regluation:18 June 2020
Application:Applicable from January 2022 onward (covering financial year 2021 onward)
Transitional period:A transitional application period relates to financial year 2021 for nonfinancial undertakings and to financial years 2021 and 2022 for financial undertakings.1

For the transitional period, only taxonomy-eligible activities2 and only with regard to climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation must be reported.
Prospect:The Taxonomy Regulation will be further developed over time to also cover socially sustainable activities.

1 Article 10 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2178

2 Economic activities are defined as taxonomy-eligible if they are listed in the delegated act that specifies the technical screening criteria (2021/2139). Taxonomy-alignment further requires adherence to the substantial contribution criteria, the DNSH principle and the minimum safeguards.


The Taxonomy Regulation applies to

  • policy measures targeting sustainable financing activities,

  • financial market participants within the scope of the SFDR and

  • companies subject to the NFRD.

Environmental objectives

The Taxonomy Regulation defines the following six environmental objectives:

  1. climate change mitigation;

  2. climate change adaptation;

  3. the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources;

  4. the transition to a circular economy;

  5. pollution prevention and control; and

  6. the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.


Each environmental objective is defined in Article 9 and delineated in greater detail in Articles 10-15 of the regulation.

Conditions for economic activities

The Taxonomy Regulation defines four conditions that an economic activity must meet to qualify as environmentally sustainable, also referred to as ‘taxonomy-aligned’:

  1. the activity must substantially contribute to meeting at least one of the six environmental objectives;

  2. the activity does not significantly harm meeting any of the six environmental objectives;

  3. the activity is carried out in compliance with minimum safeguards; and

  4. the activity complies with technical screening criteria.


These conditions are further delineated in Articles 16-18 of the regulation.

The technical screening criteria for determining which activities substantially contribute to climate change mitigation (Annex I) or climate change adaptation (Annex II) are defined in a delegated regulation (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2139).

A separate delegated regulation (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/1214) defines those criteria for fossil gas and nuclear energy sectors.

Disclosure requirements

Nonfinancial companies must disclose the proportion of ...

  • their turnover,

  • capital expenditures (capex) and

  • operating expenditures (opex)

... associated with environmentally sustainable activities.

Reporting format

The content and presentation of the information is further specified in a delegated regulation (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/2178).


Updates to this page:

20 March 2023Updated the sections "Disclosure requirements" and "reporting format".
15 September 2022Update to the current status of the EU Taxonomy.