European Sustainability Reporting Standards

“European Sustainability Reporting Standards are not about reporting, but about transformation.”

What are the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS)?

The CSRD is elaborated in the sustainability reporting standards, the ESRS. These standards contain standards and guidelines to which a sustainability report must comply.

What are the ESRS requirements

The sustainability report must be included as a separate part of the management report (so that it can be found easily), and the three main themes must be covered:

  • Environment;
  • Social;
  • Governance.

Double materiality is the starting point of the reporting (impact on and impact of the company). The sustainability report must be reviewed by an external party (auditor) and be available digitally.

Who is the ESRS relevant for?

Part of the ESRS is aimed at all companies, these are called sector-agnostic ESRS. In addition, sector-specific ESRS are created. Companies are required to report on the sector-agnostic and sector-specific ESRS. Based on a materiality analysis, a company can determine what else to report on.

Schematically, this looks as follows:

See below how, for example, Ahold Delhaize determined six key climate-related risks and how they intervene in the value chain:

Ahold Delhaize ‘In focus: climate change (Annual report 2021 p. 70)

Why is it important?

The ESRS will be implemented gradually, depending on the size of the company:

  • 1 January 2024: companies already covered by the non-financial reporting directive (reporting in 2025 on 2024 data).
  • 1 January 2025: large companies not currently covered by the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (reporting in 2026 on 2025 data).
  • 1 January 2026: listed SMEs (reporting in 2027 based on 2026 data).
  • 1 January 2028: non-EU companies covered by the non-financial reporting directive (reporting in 2029 based on data from 2028).

Although many companies will not be covered by ESRS until 2026, it is advisable to prepare now and start determining double materiality. Do you need help with implementing ESRS? Contact us at