The EU is paving the way in sustainability efforts and rules, and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is set to continue that trend, significantly impacting companies within the EU, and even those outside of it. Here’s what you need to know.

The CSRD requires detailed reporting related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects of a company’s operations.It currently applies to roughly 50,000 EU companies. In 2025, the directive’s scope will expand to include another 10,000 public and private non-EU companies that meet the reporting thresholds.

To meet reporting requirements under the CSRD, companies will use the European Sustainability Reporting Standard (ESRS), which provides the structure and methodology for reporting. Companies can utilize it to identify not only the ESG impacts within their own business operations, but also those beyond their immediate control. This includes impacts associated with their upstream suppliers and downstream customers, and overall social and environmental impact from business operations. 

The directive is a significant step toward standardizing corporate sustainability disclosures and ensuring that stakeholders have access to reliable and comparable information.

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Understanding Impacts

The CSRD heralds a new era in non-financial reporting, with significant implications for businesses both within and outside the EU. Here’s what you need to do to ensure you’re prepared:

  • Review ESRS and timelines: It’s crucial that you review the ESRS to fully understand the CSRD’s requirements in advance of the directive’s final approval in late 2023.
  • Align ESG reports: To secure your market access, you need to align your ESG reporting with changing rules in different regions. In the U.S., public firms often align voluntary ESG reports with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. Companies in scope of or facing pressure from the CSRD will now have to do something similar.
  • Prepare for ESG questionnaires: As a result of new CSRD requirements, you can expect an increase in ESG-related surveys from both your customers and your suppliers. You’ll need to understand your upstream and downstream relationships and which sustainability topics are linked to these entities.
  • Implement a value chain ESG program: To comply with the CSRD, you’ll need to expand your current ESG program. You’ll also likely need help from an outside expert who can help you stay on top of your requirements, navigate customer expectations, and manage your program and supply chain effectively. This ensures clear communication and helps you set expectations with customers and suppliers.

Embracing Challenges as Opportunities

The CSRD represents a significant shift in the EU’s approach to sustainability reporting. While these changes pose significant challenges for businesses, they also provide an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to sustainability. This is crucial in today’s market, where consumers, investors, and competitors value environmental and social responsibility. Demonstrating sustainability not only enhances brand reputation but can also lead to operational efficiencies, attract more investment, and provide a competitive edge.

With Assent, you can establish yourself as a leader in supply chain sustainability management, promoting sustainability throughout your supply chain, protecting your bottom line, and securing your market access.

Contact us at for more information on how Assent can help you navigate and comply with the CSRD today!

Jamie Wallisch
Regulatory & Sustainability Expert, ESG & Responsible Sourcing

Jamie’s area of expertise is media monitoring, with a specialization in indirect screening and responsible sourcing. She helps companies proactively analyze their supply chains for adverse media mentions,  Read More

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