Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

On 1 January 2024, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) came into force, with the first visible effects in 2025 with the publication of the first sustainability reports in accordance with the CSRD.


The evaluation and measurement of an entity’s sustainability performance, reflecting how effectively it incorporates environmental, social, and economic factors into its operations to ensure long-term sustainability and to mitigate adverse effects on the environment, society, and the economy, have emerged as crucial information to convey. This growing importance stems from heightened interest by investors, civil society, organisations, consumers, and various stakeholders in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a trend that gained momentum since the introduction of the OECD Guidelines in 1976, as shown in the historical timeline below.

With regard to sustainability reporting, the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) was adopted in 2014 with the objective to promote transparency and accountability for certain large companies regarding non-financial performance. Aligned with broader initiatives promoting sustainability and global non-financial information disclosure, the NFRD has become a significant component of the evolving European regulatory landscape.

The CSRD was designed in particular to remedy shortcomings identified in the NFRD. It seeks also to enhance and broaden obligations related to corporate non-financial reporting, accompanied by the ESRS application for increased harmonisation and information quality. It is noteworthy, that the CSRD and ESRS have been calibrated to ensure that adequate information is published by undertakings in order to enable players in the upper tier of the sustainability reporting chain to meet their own reporting requirements in turn, such as market participants subject to Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), for instance.

The CSRD can be viewed as the regulatory embodiment of CSR in terms of transparency, asserting that social responsibility should not merely be voluntary but an integral part of corporate governance. By connecting these concepts, the CSRD aims to transform CSR aspirations into regulated realities, mirroring evolving societal expectations of companies, particularly in their contribution to a more sustainable future.