CSRD: Revolution instead of evolution

The green regulatory reporting tsunami and its impact

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is designed to be impactful for companies in particular, as it outlines how and what sustainability information needs to be reported. The result of this regulation is that reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics is no longer a nice added extra, as the regulation intends to put non-financial reporting on par with financial reporting. The elements which need to be disclosed are clearly defined for the first time and made mandatory, in addition to how they must be determined, managed and overseen as well as the format of the reporting, including the digital delivery of datapoints and third-party assurance.

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EU's Green Deal and Sustainable Finance Framework Combat Climate Change and Drive Sustainability

The European Union (EU) has identified climate change and environmental degradation as an existential threat on a global scale. To mitigate the consequences of them, the EU has introduced the European Green Deal, which aims to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economic space. Its targets are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels) and to become climate neutral by 2050. Furthermore, it aims to decouple economic growth from the use of resources, and to ‘leave no person or place behind’. A comprehensive policy package has been introduced to achieve this ambitious agenda, including the EU sustainable finance framework. It comprises several regulations mandating the transformation to sustainability reporting for corporations and the financial industry. Its goal is to establish a framework that supports the reorientation of capital flows towards sustainable activities, the implementation of sustainability into mainstream risk management as well as fostering transparency and long-termism. The regulations are complex, interlinked and will initiate a new era of non-financial reporting.


Methodology

The study focuses on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and its impact on companies. By analysing the context and requirements of the directive, the scope as well as corresponding disclosure topics and mechanisms are derived. Moreover, an overview of the current green regulatory landscape in Switzerland is provided. Finally, the study presents possible ways for companies to prepare for the implementation of the complex disclosure requirements of the CSRD.

Literature Review and Analysis: Conducted to understand the context and requirements of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

Examination of the Green Regulatory Landscape: Assessing the existing environmental regulations and frameworks in Switzerland.

Synthesis and Recommendations: Synthesizing findings and providing guidance for companies to prepare for CSRD implementation.


Key findings

Impact

The CSRD will impact Swiss companies. Companies may be directly in scope or face pressure from players along their value chain, which are in scope and transfer disclosure requirements. It is furthermore expected that Swiss regulations will (at least partially) align with the CSRD in the future.

Challenges

The CSRD is one of the most comprehensive regulatory ESG frameworks to date whose requirements are legally binding. The requirements are complex and may result in changes to companies’ business strategies as well as an overhaul of reporting structures. Due to the ambitious timeline, companies within the scope are faced with a significantly constrained timeframe for implementing the CSRD.

Preparation

Companies are well advised to start their ESG reporting journey as early as possible and not to delay. Also, those who implement the CSRD early will send out an important message to the market, and will ultimately be providing their companies with a strengthened risk management system, reduced exposure to greenwashing and will enhance their reputation by adequately addressing material ESG topics.

«The CSRD revolutionizes ESG reporting. If done well, companies can identify strategic opportunities, increase their ESG rating, digitalize their processes & systems, emerge with a strengthened sustainability risk management system, reduced exposure to greenwashing, and enhanced reputation by adequately addressing material ESG topics.»

Dr. Antonios KoumbarakisSustainability & Strategic Regulatory Leader, PwC Switzerland

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Contact us

Dr. Antonios  Koumbarakis

Dr. Antonios Koumbarakis

Partner, Sustainability & Strategic Regulatory, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 45 23

Craig Stevenson

Craig Stevenson

Partner, Sustainability & Climate Change Leader, Advisory , PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 78 975 08 62

Christophe Bourgoin

Christophe Bourgoin

Partner, Investor Reporting and Sustainability Platform Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 25 37

Erik Steiger

Erik Steiger

Partner, Sustainability Tax & Legal Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 59 40

Dr. Astrid Offenhammer

Dr. Astrid Offenhammer

Senior Manager, Sustainability Regulation & Reporting, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 78 696 32 11

Sofia Jaccard

Sofia Jaccard

Senior manager, Sustainability & Strategic Regulatory, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 26 87

Rahel Blumer

Rahel Blumer

Manager, Sustainability & Strategic Regulatory, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 76 568 20 51

Lara Rossi

Lara Rossi

Senior Associate, Sustainability & Strategic Regulatory, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 43 47