CSRD: Driving Environmental Accountability and Social Resilience
3 October 2023 - Evotix
The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) aims to enhance environmental disclosure for large companies in the European Union (EU) market. It introduces more extensive and ambitious reporting requirements compared to its predecessor, the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD).
The CSRD differs from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The CSRD is mandatory and emphasizes transparency in policies, procedures and measures. This shift moves sustainability reporting to compliance, ensuring that organizations demonstrate adherence to regulations rather than highlight superficial claims.
Because the CSRD's effectiveness relies on multi-level reporting and action plans that many organizations are not familiar with, some companies may find it challenging to provide the required reporting, if the necessary processes are not already established. Therefore, effective reporting requires well-defined metrics and measurement policies.
To enhance reporting, companies must follow a structured approach:
1. Define a clear strategy that assesses impacts and opportunities
2. Implement action plans with well-defined targets and involve relevant personnel
3. Measure performance against set goals
The CSRD demands detailed data on environmental impacts, including carbon footprint, life cycle analysis, recycling quotas and other ecological aspects. In addition, the CSRD requires "double materiality," meaning both financial and impact materiality must be considered as a part of disclosures. A topic is now material for reporting if it meets the criteria for either perspective or both.
Of the 12 European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), 50 percent are environmental.
Below is the summary of each ESRS:
ESRS Environnmental Standards
E1 : Climate Change
Organizations must disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and other climate-related impacts, as well as their climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
Organizations must disclose their air, water and waste pollution data, as well as their pollution prevention and control measures.
E3: Water and marine resources
Organizations must disclose their water use, water management measures and other water-related impacts.
E4: Biodiversity and ecosystems
Organizations must disclose their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as their biodiversity conservation and restoration measures.
E5: Resource use and circular economy
Organizations must disclose their resource use data, circular economy measures and other resource-related impacts.
Automation for Environmental Accountability
There's no single solution for the CSRD. However, driving your environmental accountability requires a multifaceted approach that manual processes can't facilitate. Automation will ensure streamlined data collection that meets regulatory requirements and saves businesses valuable time and resources.
The environmental data collection process, calculations and reporting can be seamlessly integrated within a centralized system. Key aspects such as emissions management, environment management, water and waste management and metrics management can be easily automated using existing technology to meet an organization's unique needs and requirements, driving a multifaceted approach to meeting ESG and sustainability reporting.
This transformational shift yields cost and time savings and upholds higher precision. Moreover, such streamlining of operations extends beyond mere regulatory compliance, fostering well-informed decision-making and a steadfast commitment to environmental sustainability.
Social Resilience and the CSRD
Aside from the environmental aspects, the CSRD also involves reporting beyond financial metrics, emphasizing social impacts. Large companies must disclose information on their workforce health and safety, contractors, workers in the value chain, affected communities and consumers. This broader perspective recognizes the importance of societal aspects, human rights and social responsibility.
Of the 12 European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), 40 percent are social.
Below we offer a summary for each:
ESRS S1: Own Workers
This standard delves into a company's internal workforce dynamics. It assesses matters like employee well-being, diversity and inclusion, training and working conditions.
ESRS S2: Workers in the Value Chain
Focusing on the broader value chain, this standard evaluates the treatment and rights of workers beyond the organization's immediate employees.
ESRS S3: Affected Communities
This standard highlights a company's interactions with local communities impacted by its operations. It looks at engagement, stakeholder communication and initiatives to uplift these communities.
ESRS S4: Consumers
This standard revolves around consumer welfare and protection and examines how a company ensures product safety, communicates effectively with consumers and addresses concerns and feedback.
How Technology Helps Drive Social Accountability
To achieve success, an organization needs a multifaceted approach that considers its unique needs and adapts to evolving technological landscapes.
By automating data collection, calculations, reporting and analytics into a centralized module, companies can save time and costs while ensuring accuracy. This streamlined approach not only meets emissions regulations but also drives informed decision-making and environmental sustainability. Health and safety is a social issue. Be sure to optimize workplace safety, streamline incident reporting, track corrective actions and ensure compliance with regulations to create a secure work environment for your employees.
Interested in learning more about what the CSRD means for businesses? Check out our blog: CSRD and the Future of ESG Disclosure: Empowering European Corporations
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