In 1996, the Belgian government issued the "Arrêté royal relatif au bilan social" (Royal Decree on Social Balance Sheet) to require certain companies to report on their social and environmental impacts. The decree aimed to increase transparency and accountability for companies operating in Belgium. Specifically, it required large companies to report on a range of social and environmental issues, including employment practices, health and safety, environmental impact, and community engagement. The social balance sheet was meant to be published alongside the company's annual financial statements. The decree applied to companies with more than 100 employees or a turnover exceeding a certain threshold. The aim of the social balance sheet was to encourage companies to adopt more responsible business practices and contribute to the well-being of society and the environment.