Navigating corporate reporting: How CSRD is changing the game

Navigating corporate reporting: How CSRD is changing the game

The majority (81%) of companies not subject to the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) intend to partially or fully align their sustainability disclosures with its requirements, according to a new survey from Workiva. 

This independent survey, which forms the third annual ESG Practitioner Survey for 2024, engaged over 2,000 professionals from various fields including finance, accounting, and sustainability across continents like North America, Europe, and Asia.

Paul Volpe, senior vice president of Growth Solutions at Workiva, remarked on the transformative impact of the CSRD. “The adoption of the CSRD was a pivotal moment, marking the first major regulation calling for integrated financial and sustainability disclosures with third-party assurance. Now, as companies around the world gear up for their first mandated CSRD reports in 2025, we’re seeing CSRD’s impact extend far beyond those subject to the regulation. The CSRD has initiated a global shift toward assured integrating reporting, with business leaders recognising the market demand for contextual, transparent, and credible data that aligns with stakeholder expectations.”

The survey reveals a consensus on the value of comprehensive reporting, with 88% of practitioners acknowledging that a robust ESG reporting programme offers a competitive edge. Additionally, 84% believe that integrating financial and sustainability data aids in better decision-making, potentially enhancing financial performance. Assurance over ESG data, believed to bolster goal achievement by another 88% of respondents, points to a rising standard in corporate reporting.

Despite recognising the benefits, the journey towards improved sustainability disclosures isn’t without its hurdles. Paul Dickinson, a member of Workiva’s ESG Advisory Council and Founder Chair of CDP, noted, “What struck me from the 2024 ESG Practitioner Survey is that regulation is serving as a catalyst for innovation. Companies are seizing the opportunity to improve their sustainability disclosures, effectively making assured integrated reporting the gold standard in corporate reporting.” However, challenges such as data accuracy remain significant, with 83% of the survey’s respondents anticipating difficulties in meeting CSRD requirements.

Technological advancements are playing a crucial role in simplifying the reporting process. The survey indicates a strong inclination towards technologies like generative AI, with over 80% of respondents agreeing that such innovations will ease their reporting tasks and enhance efficiency. The next few years will see a significant investment in sustainability-focused technologies, as confirmed by 89% of practitioners planning to increase their technology budget.

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