How to navigate CSRD and ESRS: Positioning your organisation for compliance success

How to navigate CSRD and ESRS: Positioning your organisation for compliance success

Navigating the complex terrain of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) requires a meticulous approach. The directive stipulates the necessity for assurance of an organisation’s sustainability statement, reinforcing the importance of data’s relevance and reliability.

Position Green, which is helping firms build resilient and sustainable organisations, recently offered guiddance on structuring responsibilities within an organisation for optimal preparation for European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) assurance.

The first step in structuring your sustainability reporting process is pinpointing who holds the ultimate responsibility for complying with the CSRD. Explicitly, the directive names the organisation’s administrative, management, and supervisory bodies. This translates to the board of directors, management, and, where applicable, the audit committee.

Delineating reporting responsibilities is crucial. Many organisations are opting to onboard a CSO specifically for steering sustainability reporting tasks. Others are choosing to align these responsibilities with the CFO. Regardless of the chosen direction, the expertise of the financial team, especially in areas of reporting, risk evaluation, and mitigation, is invaluable for an organisation’s sustainability reporting.

The landscape of corporate structures is evolving with a rising trend of companies integrating sustainability controllers into their teams. These individuals are seasoned in reporting procedures and sustainability standards, often paralleling the roles of finance team’s financial and business controllers.

Tasks overseen by the sustainability controller can range from:

  • Overseeing the collation of the sustainability statement.
  • Orchestrating the reporting process and instituting internal controls to deter potential misstatements.
  • Collaborating with external auditors or assurance service providers.

A pivotal strategy for successfully navigating ESRS assurance is designating a dedicated project manager. Typically, this mantle is taken up by either a sustainability or financial controller.

The project manager’s core responsibilities encompass:

  • Data management: Ensuring that data is systematically aggregated, organised, and prepped for assurance evaluation.
  • Time management: Guaranteeing that the reporting team establishes, communicates, and adheres to timelines.
  • Communication: Acting as the central liaison for assurance providers.

Securing the right individual for the project manager role not only alleviates stress but also bolsters the overall efficiency of the organisation, paving the way for a seamless assurance process.

Position Green’s holistic ESRS Solution is tailored to guide you through the intricacies of the imminent ESRS and CSRD mandates. Take proactive measures to align your data collection and reporting structures with compliance requisites, achieve the requisite transparency levels for limited assurance, and propel your sustainability agenda with actionable insights.

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