CSR reporting 2.0

ESG – EU creates legal framework for sustainability  

The EU is pursuing the clear goal of placing corporate social responsibility at the center of every business strategy. The political framework was created in 2011 when the EU Commission published its new CSR strategy and realized an expansion of reporting obligations through the so-called CSR Directive in 2014. In 2017, the implementation into German law took place and large, capital market-oriented companies and financial institutions were obliged to report on non-financial topics through the CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG). This obligation to publish a non-financial (group) statement is reflected in Section 289b and Section 315b of the German Commercial Code (HGB), respectively. In the course of the EU Green Deal at the end of 2019, the CSR Directive was revised and the EU taxonomy was adopted. This defines EU-wide, binding sustainability requirements, which are intended to serve and drive forward the overarching goal of climate neutrality for the EU by 2050.

On April 21, 2021, the European Commission published a comprehensive package of measures which includes, among other things, proposals to revise the previously existing CSR Directive. The proposals include:

  • the expansion of the group of companies subject to reporting requirements,
  • a revision of the content of reporting by an EU-owned standard setter (EFRAG),
  • the legal clarification of "dual materiality",
  • the management report as the only permissible reporting format,
  • ESEF tagging also for sustainability reporting, and
  • the extension of the balance sheet report.

Adoption into national law is planned by 2022 with first application of the new regulations on January 1, 2023. We will keep you informed about further developments here.

Our services for CSR reporting 2.0

Our interdisciplinary team will be happy to support you with the challenges that arise with regard to the currently applicable legal requirements, but also future legal changes with regard to sustainability reporting. We would be happy to develop a customized consulting approach with you.

If you are interested or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 Harald von Heynitz Partner of Counsel