CSRD: Achieving Compliance and Maximum ESG Value
Many companies are now investing in environmental, social & governance (ESG) because they understand that this affects business continuity and competitiveness. In the coming years, ESG will become less voluntary for a large proportion of Dutch companies. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will require them to report on their environmental and social performance.
The Purpose of the CSRD
The purpose of this directive is to ensure that companies report on their sustainability performance in a publicly accessible, transparent, unambiguous and therefore comparable manner.
The Challenges of Transformation
In 2025, the first batch of companies, including most of our customers, must already report on the 2024 financial year. Whether they realize it or not: the majority of the larger Dutch companies will have to pick up speed from now on. The CSRD-proof (re)design of the data landscape is a lot of work, entails numerous (data) challenges and requires a true transformation. This is especially true for companies that have never had to report so extensively before.
The challenges of the transformation process include collecting hundreds of data points, while a lot of data is difficult to collect and the quality and measurability of the data sure to cause headaches. The transformation process should therefore not be underestimated. Important elements of this include conducting a double materiality analysis, holding discussions with stakeholders, reskilling and upskilling (data) employees, creating organization-wide awareness and – possibly most importantly – implementing an agile data platform.
Agile Data Platforms
An agile data platform automates the collection, analysis and reporting of ESG data. The maneuverability is shown by the integration of structured and unstructured data from a large (and varying number of) internal and external sources and systems. Data and reporting are disconnected, as you may need the data later for other reports. The platform options are not limited by, for example, the size, nature or data ambitions of your organization. The architecture of the platform also enables you to integrate ESG reporting company-wide into your data model.
No Ready-Made Reporting Tool
As a vendor-agnostic IT party, it is not wise to rely on a ready-made reporting tool. Instead, companies should focus on creating an agile data platform that can be used to collect, analyze and report on ESG data. This will ensure that companies are able to become CSRD compliant and realize maximum (ESG) value.