come first
More than 40 years
legal expert
and national
Get in touch

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive: what should you consider?

Themes such as sustainability, climate change and social responsibility have taken on an increasingly important role within our society in recent years. It is also becoming more important for companies to contribute to the impact on the environment and the climate and to account for this to its stakeholders. The “Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive” (CSRD) plays a major role in this. This article briefly discusses the content of the CSRD and its potential impact on your company.


The CSRD is an EU Directive focused on making the European Union more sustainable and increasing transparency on sustainability in business. The underlying objective of the CSRD is to make the European Union more sustainable by creating a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated by 2050. The CSRD requires companies to report on their impact on people and the environment in their management report. More specifically, this means that every company must account for risks and opportunities related to ESG issues and provide sustainability information to its stakeholders. This should expand the scope of sustainability management.

Who does the CSRD apply to?

As of when the obligations under the CSRD will apply to a specific company depends on the size of the company.

Large companies

For large public interest companies, the obligation will apply from the 2024 financial year. For large companies, not of public interest, the obligation will apply from the 2025 financial year. An organization that affects the interests of larger groups due to its size or function in society qualifies as a public interest company. For instance, listed companies, banks and insurers qualify as public interest companies. A company qualifies as “large” if it meets two of the following three criteria: (i) its turnover exceeds EUR 40 million, (ii) its balance sheet total exceeds EUR 20 million and (iii) it has more than 250 employees.

Medium-sized and small enterprises

For listed medium-sized and small enterprises (SME’s), non-complex credit institutions and specific (re)insurance companies, the obligation will apply from the 2026 financial year. Finally, for subsidiaries and branches of non-EU-listed companies, the obligation will apply from financial year 2028. For SME’s without a listing, it remains a choice for the time being whether they want to implement the CSRD standards for non-financial data.

What should be reported on?

The CSRD is based on the principle of “double materiality”. This means that companies should report on both the potential financial impact of sustainability factors on the company itself (from the outside in) and the company’s impact on the environment and society (from the inside out). Furthermore, it also places great importance on the responsibility of all companies in a given company’s value chain. It is therefore important for a company to report not only on its own performance, but also on that of their customers and suppliers.

For each main topic (Environmental, Social and Governance), a number of standards have been defined on which to report:




Climate change


Water and marine resources


Material use and circular economy

Own employees

Workers in the chain

Impact on communities

Customers and end-users


Governance, risk management, internal control

Business conduct


What is the actual impact of the CSRD on your business?

It is important that companies prepare well in advance for the entry into force of the CSRD. After all, it is necessary that relevant sustainability information can be provided by the end of the financial year and potential ESG risks identified. Every company should develop and implement an ESG strategy in its operations. Furthermore, potential ESG risks should be identified, monitored and then reported on. This will require good preparation and thorough research. It is therefore important that companies are alert to the entry into force of the CSRD and its applicability. In addition, the sustainability information reported on should be audited by an external auditor.

Roundtable ESG

If you would like to know more about ESG, its impact on your company and any (future) obligations you should start taking into account, please feel free to sign up for our roundtable ‘The impact of ESG regulations on (large) SMEs’, on 14 June 2023 at 3 PM.

More information

If you already have questions about ESG regulations, please contact the lawyers in our corporate law section.

Articles and customer stories within this specialist area