CSRD: What You Need to Know

The European Union has finalised plans to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which will require companies to publish their sustainability efforts.

Around 50,000 companies will now have to provide data on how their business model affects the environment, and how external factors (including climate change) impact their business activities.

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to the CSRD, so that businesses in the EU can be better prepared for 2024, when the rules come into force.

What is the CSRD?

The goal of the CSRD is to make businesses more publicly accountable for their societal and environmental impact. The European Union said their goal is to end greenwashing and be a global actor in sustainability reporting standards.

The CSRD is a detailed reporting requirement that focuses on the environment, human rights and social standards based on common criteria in line with the EU’s climate targets. The EU has said it wants to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The CSRD also casts a wider net to oblige more companies to report. Current regulations require around 11,700 companies to report, while the CSRD will cover almost 50,000 companies.

Will I need to file CSRD reports?

The companies that must apply the new rules include:

  • All companies listed on the EU regulated market (including SMEs and excluding micro-enterprises)
  • All large companies that meet two of the following criteria: employ 250 employees, have a balance sheet of €20 million (£17 million) or a net turnover of €40 million (£34.4 million)
  • Non-EU companies that have a turnover of above €150 million (£129 million) and have a subsidiary in the EU will also have to comply.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises will be able to report using simplified standards and the European Commission is working on developing separate standards that non-listed SMEs could voluntarily use to increase transparency for clients and investors.

When do I have to start CSRD reporting?

The European Union finalised plans in late 2022. However, the rules of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will start to be applied in 2024.

  • From 1 January 2024, companies already subject to the non-financial reporting directive will need to start reporting for 2025
  • From 1 January 2025, all large companies meeting the criteria explained above will need to report for 2026
  • From 1 January 2026, all listed SMEs will need to report for 2027. However, SMEs can opt-out until 2028.

What will I have to report under CSRD?

The private association EFRAG (European Financial Reporting Advisory Group) has been tasked by the EU to provide European Sustainability Reporting Standards. The group has presented its first draft to the EU, which outlines that companies will need to report:

The proposed standards will include a proposal for double materiality: the idea that you should look at how a company both influences and is influenced by climate change.

EFRAG also proposed value chain sustainability reporting, which will oblige companies to report indirect emissions (known as Scope 3 emissions). These are often trickier to measure than emissions that occur within the company and so are harder to report.

The EU will now consult the relevant stakeholders, including member countries, on the draft standards, before adopting the final standards in June 2023.

What guidelines shall I use to prepare for CSRD reporting?

The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) has released three pivotal documents to aid companies in complying with the new European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). These include EFRAG IG 1 (materiality assessment), EFRAG IG 2 (value chain aspects) and EFRAG IG 3 (ESRS data points).

The above guidelines explain how materiality assessments should be conducted, underscoring the importance of covering the whole value chain. Companies are urged to include all significant impacts, risks, and opportunities (IROs) in their sustainability statements, emphasising transparency and stakeholder engagement.

Moreover, the drafts highlight the importance of adhering to recognised standards like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Universal Standards. While unified sustainability reporting guidelines are still underway, these three documents provide a clear direction regarding standards, formulas, and assessment criteria to adopt in preparation for CSRD reporting.

How can I prepare for the CSRD?

The sooner a company starts planning to meet the CSRD, the easier reporting will be.

For companies to be ready for the CSRD, they need to start setting reporting systems that can accurately measure their emissions.

ClearVUE.Business’ industry-leading technology, ClearVUE.Zero, is an energy and carbon accounting platform that measures your emissions in real time and prepares reports that are compliant with government legislation.

Our sustainability experts will also look at the reports and help guide you towards lowering emissions, meaning your reports will move closer to environmental targets. This is not just good news for the planet, as it also means greater support from clients and greater support from investors.

The world is changing. Keep yourself updated.

Our breakdown of key moments and highlights in the ESG, climate compliance and sustainability reporting space.

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