5 things to get right in your ESRS reporting

Your CSRD reporting will impact your credibility, financial rating, and preferred partner-supplier-employer status. It can also help to protect you against greenwashing accusations.

But for that, you need to follow the instructions. The ESRS standards contain detailed questions. There are over 2000 datapoints whereof more than 400 require a Yes or No answer.

As we are currently supporting our customers navigate towards CSRD excellence, we have picked out 5 things to get right from the start:

⭕ Assess all topics listed ESRS 1 AR 16 when conducting your double materiality assessment.

For example, S1 is divided into 17 granular topics, connected to different impacts, risks and opportunities (IROs).

These topics are also found in the European Social Charter, which is complementary to the European Convention on Human Rights, protecting civil and political rights.

⭕ Assess your specific impacts, risks and opportunities – not only the sustainability topic.

The method described in the ESRS (confirmed by the French CNCC) requires an assessment at the IRO level and not only at the topic level.

⭕ Don’t consider a topic not material just because you think you are managing the connected impacts and risks well.

Materiality is a user-driven concept. A sustainability topic (including omissions of information on such topics), is considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, it could reasonably be expected to influence decisions of intended users taken on the basis of your information.

By declaring a sustainability topic not material, you are telling your stakeholders, trust me, there is nothing important for you to see here, please move on. That’s an important responsibility and you need to be prepared to back it up if someone challenges you.

⭕ Don’t provide biased or manipulated information and leave out unfavorable aspects.

ESRS 1 specifically states that the information shall be complete, accurate and neutral.

Information is neutral if it is not slanted, weighted, emphasized, de-emphasized or otherwise manipulated to make it more likely that the users will receive that information favorably or unfavorably.

It shall be balanced and granular enough not to obscure material information.

⭕ Don’t confuse positive and negative impact, and risk mitigation with opportunities.

A positive impact is not just avoiding a negative impact – you do not have a positive impact simply because you avoid doing harm. Positive impact is about increasing positive outcomes for people and the environment based on evidence❗of actual outcomes.

An opportunity is not simply mitigating a risk. It requires a proactive❗stance leading to new business opportunities and positive stakeholder relations that you intend to pursue and that can be calculated in monetary value (ESRS2.48).

⭕ You are welcome to contact us to get CSRD-ready with Cleerit ESG.

Posted in CSRD, ESRS.