On 26th April, CSR Europe brought together its corporate members for the first face-to-face session of the Markets Atelier series “You’re A-Z Guide to Sustainability Reporting”. The event addressed the challenge posed by the implementation of the double materiality principle in sustainability reporting.
Double materiality provides a holistic approach to sustainability reporting that enables businesses to recognize the interdependence between their financial performance and their impacts on the environment and society. However, the task of identifying and measuring the financial implications of environmental and social factors requires robust methodologies and data. Furthermore, determining the materiality thresholds for both external impacts and internal risks and opportunities can be subjective and context-dependent, requiring careful judgment and stakeholder engagement to ensure accuracy and relevance in reporting.
To assist members in navigating these challenges, CSR Europe invited experts such as Gemma Sanchez-Danes, Acting Head of Secretariat at the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), Martin Powell, Head of Group Sustainability at AXA and Member of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), Georges Gloukoviezoff, Senior Corporate Responsibility Officer at the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Donato Calace, Vice President of Innovation & Accounts at Datamaran, a software analytics platform. Additionally, leading businesses including BASF, Leonardo, and Titan Cement shared their experiences in implementing the double materiality principle.
I think this exchange of practices is useful and help to grow in maturity on such new issues
– Philippe Pacaud, Senior Sustainability Advisor at TotalEnergies
Participants highlighted several key aspects, including the importance of viewing the Principle of Double Materiality as an integral tool aligned with business strategy, and not merely a compliance requirement set by the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). They also emphasized that double materiality serves as a catalyst for change within businesses and aids in resource allocation beyond its reporting function. Moreover, participants stressed the need to enhance companies’ capacity-building efforts.
Since the Commission called on EFRAG “to focus attention on providing additional guidance for companies to apply the first set of horizontal standards”, participants also shared the following challenges to the implementation of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards:
the need for clearer guidance on material topics for the Double Materiality Assessment
the excessive granularity of information
difficulties in stakeholder engagement during the assessment process
the necessity of training to bridge knowledge gaps internally and external
the call for greater harmonization of terminology
The Markets Atelier series “You’re A-Z Guide to Sustainability Reporting” will continue in Autumn. Corporate members are invited to join the next sessions:
The inputs shared by members throughout the Atelier will be taken into account by CSR Europe’s Markets Leaders Hubs to advocate for standards that work for business.
If you are interested in participating in these activities, please contact us to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member of CSR Europe.
For more information:
Markets & EU Project Manager