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CSRD: interoperability of ESRS standards for a single reporting

We recently told you about the evolution of the CSRD* and European regulatory standards for sustainability reporting. Europe's ambition is to invite companies to be more transparent and to allow greater comparability of non-financial reporting, but what is the impact for companies applying other standards (GRI*, IFRS*)? Will they have to publish several reports? This is an essential question to which EFRAG* is required to answer by proposing cross-references between the GRI and IFRS standards and the ESRS*, currently being finalized.

A single reporting and more comparability

The objectives of transparency and comparability between European companies must not be to the detriment of entities operating on a global scale by multiplying publications.

With the European Commission and thanks to working groups and the consultation of the various stakeholders, EFRAG has drafted and adapted the ESRS standards so that issuers can publish one single reporting. This also allows companies already complying with these regulations to capitalize on their work and efforts. In practical terms, this will be made possible by setting up, in particular, cross-reference tables within the reports.

Strong correspondence with GRI standards

In line with the CSRD’s requirement to implement a double materiality* approach and take into account existing standards in establishing ESRS, EFRAG and GRI have cooperated intensively since the launch of preparatory work in September 2020.

In a joint statement published on Monday, September 4, the two organizations announced that they had achieved a “high level of interoperability‚ÄĚ of their standards and indicated that definitions, concepts and information are either fully or closely aligned.

Both organizations also intend to work on a digital taxonomy and a tagging system for their respective standards. One more tool towards the digitalization and comparability of reporting!

A few more adjustments with IFRS

In order to integrate the sustainability criteria into the IFRS taxonomy, the ISSB drafted the new S1 and S2 standards published in June 2023.

Although the philosophies of European and international regulations are somewhat different (to date, the ISSB does not adopt double materiality), correspondences have been found. This is notably the case of the IFRS S1 and ESRS 1 standards, which provide a general structure around governance, strategy and risk management.

IFRS S2 are climate-focused and discussions are underway for social topics: stakeholder comments could be sent to the foundation until September 1, 2023.

Last July, the ISSB also congratulated itself on the work done with the European Commission and EFRAG to achieve standards allowing the publication of a single sustainability report for companies. Promising reconciliations but still some blocking points for a total correspondence between IFRS and ESRS!

*GLOSSARY

CSRD : Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, see our article

Double materiality : see our article

EFRAG : European Financial Reporting Advisory Group

ESRS : European Sustainability Reporting Standards

GRI : Global Reporting Initiative

IFRS : International Financial Reporting Standards

ISSB : International Sustainability Standards Board