Sustainability reporting with standards
How ISO and CEN Standards can help in meeting the reporting requirements of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)
Effective January 2023, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) came into effect as a new EU directive on sustainability reporting, building on the previously implemented Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The primary objective of the CSRD is to bring sustainability reporting on par with financial reporting. To comply with the CSRD requirements, the reporting requirements of the Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) must also be followed. Throughout 2024, the CSRD will be phased in. This directive ensures that a significantly larger group of companies in the European Union is required to report on sustainability. As a result of the CSRD's reporting requirements expansion, the number of companies subject to the regulations is projected to rise from roughly 11,600 to 49,000 across the EU.
A new challenge for many companies
For companies that have previously not been required to report on their sustainability efforts, it is evident that complying with the new regulations will present new challenges. Additionally, it is unclear how the new sustainability reporting requirements will be implemented in practice. However, non-financial reporting can be beneficial for organizations in several ways. For instance, it can lead to lower refinancing costs as banks and insurance companies are required to communicate the sustainability of their investments. Providing the necessary information to lenders also benefits companies that fall under this category. Moreover, timely dissemination of information within the supply chain can prevent ESG-oriented customers from excluding the company.
Standards and specifications help with implementation – joint suggestion by DIN and AFNOR
In collaboration with the Association française de normalisation (AFNOR), the official French authority for standardization, DIN has developed a standardization mapping (LINK). This map outlines the current CEN and ISO Standards that can help meet the ESRS requirements. These widely used and accepted standards not only provide clarity in implementing reporting requirements but also reduce the effort required to produce the report by the affected companies. The application of CEN and ISO Standards ensures that many of the points required in the ESRS are already covered. As a result, organizations that already use these standards can leverage the available information for reporting purposes.
Contribution to the Green Deal
According to Christoph Winterhalter, Chairman of the Executive Board of DIN, “The standardization map is a significant contribution by the standards institutes towards achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal. CEN and ISO Standards are widely used in organizations for various purposes. Applying standards as part of CSRD sustainability reporting provides organizations with the necessary tools for reporting. Moreover, the application of standards can contribute to legal certainty.”
When new CEN and ISO Standards are published that are relevant to the CSRD, the standardization map will be adjusted accordingly. Feedback and suggestions regarding the standardization map can be sent to email@example.com.