Glossary

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), in effect since January 5, 2023, mandates EU businesses, including qualifying EU subsidiaries of non-EU companies, to report comprehensively on the environmental and social impact of their activities and the business impact of their ESG efforts. This regulatory framework, introduced as part of the European Commission’s Sustainable Finance Package, aims to provide transparency that aids investors, analysts, consumers, and other stakeholders in evaluating EU companies’ sustainability performance and related business impacts and risks. Let’s delve deeper into the CSRD, its reporting requirements, and the transformative impact it carries.

Understanding CSRD:

The CSRD, a successor to the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), significantly expands the scope and reporting requirements for sustainability disclosures. It applies to diverse entities, including large listed undertakings, EU-based large undertakings (listed or not), and ‘third-country’ undertakings with EU subsidiaries. The goal is to foster transparency, allowing stakeholders to understand better and compare organizations’ ESG impacts.

Why the CSRD was Introduced:

The roots of the CSRD reporting requirements trace back to 2021 when the European Parliamentary Research Service identified shortcomings in the NFRD, emphasizing the need for consistent and comparable data. The CSRD aims to address these gaps, providing investors and consumers with a simpler and more consistent way to comprehend and compare organizations’ ESG impact. Aligned with Europe’s 2050 climate-neutrality target and the European Green Deal, the CSRD contributes to a globally competitive and resilient industry, energy-efficient buildings, cleaner energy, and innovative clean technologies.

Who Must Comply with the CSRD:

By 2028, diverse organizations must adhere to the CSRD, including large listed undertakings, EU-based large undertakings, and ‘third-country’ undertakings. The criteria vary, encompassing total assets, net turnover, and the number of employees. This broad applicability ensures that many companies contribute to the sustainability narrative.

When Must Companies Comply with the CSRD:

CSRD compliance is being phased in from 2024 through 2029, with timelines based on NFRD legacy or company size. Starting in 2024, organizations already mandated to comply with the NFRD, including those listed in an EU-regulated market with 500 or more employees, must comply. The phasing ensures a systematic and manageable transition for businesses.

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CSRD Reporting Standards and Disclosure Requirements:

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) released the first set of European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) in 2022. These standards encompass four categories: Cross-cutting, Environmental, Social, and Governance. CSRD reporting is based on the concept of double materiality, requiring organizations to disclose the impact of their activities on sustainability matters and how sustainability matters impact their finances.

Crafting a CSRD Management Report:

Within the CSRD framework, the management report holds particular significance. This section allows businesses to showcase their commitment to sustainability at a strategic level. Crafting a compelling CSRD management report ensures compliance and positions the company as a leader in sustainable business practices.

CSRD’s Impact on ESG Reporting

The adoption of the landmark Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) by the European Council signals a transformative shift in the realm of sustainability reporting, particularly in its intersection with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations. Enacted as new EU legislation by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), the CSRD sets the stage for substantial changes, uniting financial data, ESG information, and assurance in public reports submitted by large EU and non-EU companies.

From 2025 onward, these organizations must go beyond traditional financial reporting to disclose the full scope of their sustainability impact. The CSRD expands upon and replaces the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) and represents a fundamental shift by merging financial and ESG reporting for the first time. This integration establishes a shared framework for reporting non-financial data, significantly deviating from established reporting practices.

CSRD vs. NFRD:

The CSRD builds upon the NFRD, enhancing reporting requirements and introducing key changes such as broader applicability, mandatory third-party auditing, and a more comprehensive scope. CSRD reports must be submitted in a specific electronic format, providing a structured and standardized approach to reporting.

Looking Ahead

As the CSRD reshapes the landscape of sustainability reporting, companies must proactively embrace the transformative journey it entails. The comprehensive CSRD guidelines, reporting requirements, and disclosure standards set by the CSRD facilitate regulatory compliance and position businesses as responsible contributors to global sustainability objectives. By adopting a proactive stance and leveraging the CSRD as a tool for positive change, companies can navigate the evolving landscape of corporate responsibility with resilience and purpose.

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system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

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