An onslaught of new ESG Disclosure Frameworks is overwhelming chief sustainability officers, increasing the risk of greenwashing, according to a report on CSOs.
Despite publicly available reports, many ESG disclosure requests and frameworks are being released and updated, leading to valuable resources being spent on sourcing, analysing, and consolidating information for each request.
The report highlighted CSOs’ needs in streamlining ESG reporting and alleviating the burden of ESG disclosure to decrease the risk of greenwashing, the report said.
The report found that at least half the time CSOs spend at work is spent dealing with ESG inquiries, reducing the time that can be focused on improving ESG practices at work.
“This was a frustration felt by all the CSOs interviewed,” the report said.
The relentless bombardment of ESG-related inquiries has given rise to greenwashing and what was referred to by many as the ‘burden of ESG disclosure’.
There are at least 13 commonly referred to ESG reporting frameworks, and companies can be bound to report according to these frameworks according to their size, industry or their location.
In certain countries, regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) mandate ESG reporting for certain companies, rendering it legally binding in those contexts.
Companies are turning to energy management solutions and data reporting platforms to help ease the burden of sustainability reporting.