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CSRD – Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure

The corporate world extends beyond profit-making; stakeholders increasingly expect companies to demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental issues. Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, and Environmental, Social, and Governance, ESG have developed a framework for businesses to integrate responsible practices into their operations. The key to using these practices is transparency. On April 21, 2021, the EU announced the Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure, CSRD. The CSRD’s mission is to permit companies to have full transparency.

Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure

The EU Corporate Social Responsibility Directive (CSRD) came into force early January 2023 as part of the European green deal. CSRD openly informs stakeholders of a company’s social, environmental, and ethical performance. It entails voluntarily disclosing CSR programmes, objectives and results through reports, websites etc. The CSRD adheres to CSR initiatives, additionally, it also enforces a financially inclusive version of the ESG guidelines. While enhancing a company’s reputation, stakeholder trust, and long-term sustainability, CSRD encourages accountability, stakeholder engagement, and risk management. CSRD is an effective instrument for fostering confidence, enticing clients and investors, and promoting a future that is more moral and sustainable.

How Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure is used

Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure
  • Transparency and Accountability: Stakeholders can evaluate the company’s social, environmental, and ethical impacts using the CSRD, which offers transparent and accountable reporting of a company’s CSR initiatives and performance.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: By being transparent about CSR efforts and results, encouraging input, and promoting collaboration to address social and environmental issues, CSRD fosters beneficial relationships with stakeholders.
  • Performance Measurement: Companies may assess the success of their activities and pinpoint areas for improvement using CSRD to measure and track their progress towards CSR goals and targets.
  • Reputation Building: CSRD improves a company’s reputation by demonstrating its dedication to ethical business practises, attracting investors, customers, and employees with aligned beliefs.
  • Risk Management: Companies may proactively address possible problems and stakeholder expectations with CSRD’s assistance in identifying, assessing, and managing social and environmental risks.

Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure and LCA Obligatons

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) introduces specific obligations for medium and large companies to conduct Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) for their products and services. Here are the LCA requirements under the CSRD:

Mandatory LCA for Certain Products/Services

The CSRD states that companies must report on the environmental impacts of their products and services throughout their life cycle. LCA is the methodology to quantify these impacts from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal or recycling.

Disclosure of LCA Methodology

In-scope companies must describe their LCA methodology, including the standards, databases, assumptions, and system boundaries applied in conducting the assessments.

Reporting of LCA Results

The results of the LCAs must appear in an official publication, highlighting the identified environmental hotspots and main impact drivers across the product/service life cycles.

Integration with Strategy

Companies must explain how the insights from LCA results inform their business strategy, decision-making processes, and efforts to reduce environmental impacts across the value chain.

Scope Based on Company Size

The LCA obligation applies to all large companies (over 250 employees and meeting certain revenue/asset thresholds) from January 1, 2024. Listed SMEs and some non-EU companies have to comply from January 1, 2026, and 2028 respectively.

By mandating LCAs, the CSRD recognizes their importance as a comprehensive and scientific approach to assessing environmental impacts. This obligation will likely drive increased adoption of LCA methodologies and tools among medium and large companies operating in the EU or serving its markets.

CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility

The CSR practice, also known as corporate citizenship, helps large companies set an example for peers, competition, and the industry by being accountable to their shareholders and the public.

CSR is a broad concept in practice, a company’s interpretation can be adhering to any of the following criteria:

Environmental Responsibility

Environmental responsibility is a concept with a wide range of applications. Companies may choose to adapt their business model or supply chain to practice this idea or create new initiatives.

Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure Environmental Responsibility

Common practices include:

  • Conservation of natural resources: Putting policies in place to encourage the efficient use of energy, water, and raw materials limiting resource consumption.
  • Climate change reduction: Practicing measures to minimise greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, support carbon offset programmes, and encourage renewable energy sources.
  • Environmental certifications and standards: Evaluating new projects, products, or operations for possible environmental impact and putting steps in place to lessen their effect. Additionally, acquiring and retaining certifications to abide by acknowledged environmental standards, such as ISO 14001, LEED, etc.
  • Environmental education and awareness: Encouraging environmental awareness through campaigns, initiatives, and education among staff, consumers, and the community.
Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure Ethical Responsibility

Ethical Responsibility

Being ethically responsible is a cornerstone of social responsibility, based on businesses functioning fairly and ethically. Instances of practice include:

  • Respect for human rights: Ensuring fair labour practises, no discrimination and that safe working conditions across the organization’s activities and supply chain.
  • Consumer protection: Promoting fair pricing, honest advertising, and transparent product information.
  • Privacy and data protection: Protect customer data and privacy while complying with applicable data protection laws.
  • Transparency and accountability: Open and transparent communication with stakeholders. Providing accurate information about the company’s performance.

Philanthropic Responsible

This pillar promotes a business’s engagement and contribution to society.

Practices include:

  • Donating profits to charity
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteering with philanthropic organisations
  • Entering transactions with suppliers or vendors that align with the corporation’s philanthropic views
CSRD Philanthropic Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure Financial Responsibility

Financial Responsibility

This practice ties into all the above-mentioned principals ensuring a company allocates financial resources to environmental, ethical, and philanthropic initiatives. Instances of practice include:

  • Financial integrity: Maintaining accurate and transparent financial records and reporting in compliance with accounting standards and regulations.
  • Responsible investment: Considering environmental, social, and governance factors in investment decisions to mitigate risks and promote sustainable financial growth.
  • Ethical financial practices: Conducting business with honesty, integrity, and fairness, including responsible lending and investment practices, avoiding predatory practices, and promoting responsible financial services.
  • Financial transparency: Providing stakeholders with accurate and timely financial information, including financial statements, disclosures, and performance reports, to promote transparency and accountability.


Similar, to CSR, Environmental, Social, and Governance, EGS is a framework that measures and evaluates the sustainability and ethical impact of a company’s operations and practices. ESG factors consider a wide range of aspects that go beyond financial performance. Evaluating a company’s impact on the environment, how it treats its members, its ties to the community, and its governance structure.

  • Environmental: Focusing on how a firm affects the environment. Considering carbon emissions, energy, resource use, waste management, pollution, climate change, and environmental preservation techniques.
  • Social: Examining how a business manages its interactions with a variety of stakeholders, including its workers, clients, suppliers, partners, local communities, and the public. Covering topics including customer satisfaction, product safety, community participation, diversity, human rights, and health and safety.
  • Governance: Covering the organization’s management style, board make-up, executive pay, openness, risk-taking, and adherence to moral and legal guidelines.
ESG - Environmental Social Governance

CSRD is an effective way for businesses to express their commitment to ethical corporate conduct. Companies can improve their reputation, earn the trust of their stakeholders, and gain a competitive edge by being upfront about their CSR and ESG initiatives. Accountability, stakeholder involvement, and risk management are all encouraged by CSRD, which ultimately benefits societal welfare and the long-term viability of firms.

Need CSRD and ESG guidance? Contact Enviropass!