Sustainability Reporting - CSRD & ESRS

The CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) is an EU directive that obligates companies within the EU to report on their sustainability aspects. The directive includes clear specifications on how this sustainability reporting must be created. With our CSRD Management System GLOBAL COMPLIANCE, we assist companies in implementing these requirements.
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Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

Clear Guidelines for CSRD: ESRS

The CSRD establishes the legal framework for sustainability reporting, while the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) define the content to be reported. These standards encompass overarching principles. A central and mandatory part of the ESRS is the "ESRS 2 General Disclosures." This standard stipulates that companies must declare in their reports the roles played by management, administration, and supervisory bodies in relation to sustainability. Additionally, they must define their risk management and internal control mechanisms for the sustainability report. The ESRS 2 also prescribes how companies must conduct a materiality analysis, determining which additional topics and metrics must be included in the reports.

The Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Directive (CSRD) mandates that sustainability reports must undergo external auditing. Additionally, companies are required to use the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF), already applied in the financial reporting domain. This format is characterized by its readability for both humans and machines. Furthermore, it is specified that the provided sustainability information must be an integral part of the management report.

For whom and from when does the
CSRD apply?

The CSRD applies to a broad range of companies, including listed companies, banks, insurance firms, and large non-listed companies. Companies that already report under the Non-financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) will apply the CSRD for the first time for the reporting year 2024. In total, approximately 49,000 companies in the EU are expected to be affected. The regulations apply to both large companies (typically those with more than 500 employees) and publicly traded small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), although there are some transitional measures for the latter.
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Companies that are already
subject to reporting in accordance with NFRD/CSRD-RUG

Limited liability companies

- Capital market-oriented
- Annual average of more than
   500 employees*


Large companies that
not yet
are required to report

Limited liability companies that fulfill at least 2 of the 3 characteristics on the balance sheet date:

- Balance sheet total: at least € 20 million

- Net sales: at least € 40 million

- Average number of employees during the financial year: at least 250*


Listed SMEs

Deferral option until 2028

Exempt from the
reporting obligation for listed SMEs are micro-enterprises, which are
are defined as companies that fulfill at least 2 of the 3 characteristics on the balance sheet date:

- Balance sheet total: max. €350,000

- Net turnover: max. 700,000€

- Average number of employees during the financial year max. 10+


Non-EU companies with EU branches or EU subsidiaries

Non-EU companies fall within the scope of the CSRD if:

- they generate a net turnover of more than 150 million within the EU - and have at least one EU branch office or EU subsidiary


CSRD & ESRS - Frequently Asked Questions Briefly Explained

Who is subject to reporting under the CSRD?
Who audits the sustainability reports? 
What are the ESRS?
What do companies need to report according to the ESRS?
Is the CSRD part of the EU Taxonomy?
What is the difference between ESRS and CSRD?

This primarily depends on the size of the company. Companies with 500 or more employees are required to report under the CSRD from the reporting year 2024, and those with more than 250 employees from the reporting year 2025. However, the legal form, total balance, and net turnover also play a role in determining whether a company is subject to reporting requirements.

The CSRD allows EU member states some flexibility in this regard. In Germany, it is expected that only auditors will conduct audits in accordance with the CSRD.

ESRS stands for European Sustainability Reporting Standards. These standards outline the content and metrics that a company subject to the CSRD must report.

According to current regulations, all companies subject to reporting obligations are obliged to adhere to the ‘ESRS 2 General Disclosures.’ This entails a mandatory materiality analysis to be carried out in accordance with the specified regulations. Companies are tasked with conducting this analysis in line with the guidelines. Upon completion of the materiality analysis, the company can precisely determine which additional content and metrics it needs to disclose in its reports.

No, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is not a direct part of the EU Taxonomy. The CSRD focuses on the disclosure of non-financial information in company reports, while the EU Taxonomy establishes criteria for the environmental sustainability of economic activities. However, both initiatives are part of the broader efforts of the European Union to promote transparency and comparability regarding sustainable practices.

The CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) is a regulation that outlines disclosure requirements for companies in the European Union (including non-EU companies). On the other hand, the ESRS (European Sustainability Reporting Standards) serve as the framework, including a set of metrics, that companies subjected to CSRD regulations must use for their publication of sustainability information.

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive


According to the ESRS, most companies must account for their CO2 emissions. We provide you with a fully automated solution for this. All necessary data is already in your accounting system. Our software solution integrates with common ERP and financial applications such as SAP, LucaNet, Microsoft Dynamics, DATEV, Oracle, Sage, ABAS. From the existing CO2-related data, our software GLOBAL FOOTPRINT automatically extracts the greenhouse gas evaluation of your company.