Sustainability reporting

Sustainability Reports

TÜV SÜD supports you in many ways regarding Sustainability Reporting

TÜV SÜD supports you in many ways regarding Sustainability Reporting

Sustainability Reporting: Enhance transparency. Boost credibility

We help you to successfully tackle the challenges of new requirements in Sustainability Reporting

Companies are increasingly confronted with tougher requirements regarding their commitment to sustainability. Business partners, legislators and the society in general are expecting a stronger focus on sustainability. Standards of expectations concerning reporting have soared in recent years and will continue to become more rigorous in the years to come. Small and medium-sized enterprises are particularly beset by new tasks and new challenges.



  1. What is a Sustainability Report?
  2. Step by step to a Sustainability Report – How is a Sustainability Report drawn up?
  3. How we support you in all aspects of the Sustainability Report
  4. New EU Directive: CSRD
  5. Frameworks and standards – An overview
  6. Your added value: Invest in sustainability – and the future of your company
  7. TÜV SÜD – Your partner for Sustainability Reporting
  8. Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)


What is Sustainability Reporting? 

Communicate your commitment to sustainability in a targeted manner

Sustainability Reporting is an important element in corporate communication. It is an effective and targeted vehicle for a company to inform a variety of different stakeholders about its commitment to sustainability. In this way, a company can establish a position as an attractive partner and, strengthen trust among its customers and consumers. Sustainability Reporting also helps to fulfil new statutory requirements and support decision-making on the capital market by investors and financial backers.


Environmental, social and governance (ESG)

Companies use Sustainability Reports to inform the public about their performance and provide regular updates about their progress in the field of sustainability. The content of a Sustainability Report provides a holistic overview of the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) status. It documents the human and environmental impact of the company’s business activities and describes how the company structures its corporate responsibility. Examples of possible topics include climate change, circular economy, and social responsibility along the supply chain.

Are you seeking support with Sustainability Reporting? We are happy to provide comprehensive information.

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Sustainability Reporting Frameworks - Step by Step

Your journey to Sustainability Reporting: We provide you a with a Sustainability Reporting framework and share our expertise on sustainability criteria:

The production of a Sustainability Report basically covers three stages: preparation, creation and verification & publication. Each of these stages involves different and important work steps. The diagram below outlines these work steps and shows the support services we can provide to you from the start.

Where does your company stand on its way to a CSR report? TÜV SÜD offers you guidance in all three phases.

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How TÜV SÜD can support you in all aspects of Sustainability Reporting

Selected TÜV SÜD services related to Sustainability Reporting

Public Seminars by TÜV SÜD Akademie set companies on the right path to sustainability
Sustainability Reporting Assessment
Step by step towards your sustainability report
Find out more
Measure and manage the social impacts of your business
Enhance transparency along the entire supply chain and elevate your supplier management to the top level
Convincing, transparent, and verified Sustainability Reports in accordance with the GRI Standards
Services related to the certification and verification of sustainable products
Carbon Footprint Verification
For robust carbon footprint accounting and enhanced trust in climate action
Find out how sustainable your property is and what action you can take to reduce its carbon footprint


New EU directive: CSRD

The new EU directive CSRD is mandatory for Sustainability Reporting

  • What does Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) mean?

    CSRD is the new EU directive for Corporate Sustainability Reporting. It replaces the previously applicable Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The new directive imposes profound changes to the requirements applicable to non-financial reporting. It is designed to introduce binding EU standards and increase corporate accountability in relation to ESG topics.

  • Which undertakings are affected by the CSRD?
    • All large undertakings in the EU to which two out of the following three criteria must comply to the new standard:
      • > 250 employees
      • > EUR 50 m net turnover
      • > EUR 25 m balance sheet total
    • Small and medium-sized capital-market-oriented EU undertakings to which at least two out of the following three criteria apply
      • > 10 employees
      • > EUR 900,000 net turnover
      • > EUR 450,000 balance sheet total
    • Non-EU companies with > € 150 m net turnover in the EU and a minimum of one branch or subsidiary in the EU, which exceeds defined threshold values
  • What new features and requirements will the CSRD involve compared to the previous EU-NFRD?

    In comparison to the previous regulation, CSRD’s main new features and requirements are as follows:

    • Significantly extended scope of application and depth of reporting
    • New understanding of the principle of materiality and establishment of the concept of “double materiality"
    • Reporting is both retrospective and forward-looking – defining sustainability targets and KPIs
    • Sustainability Report as an obligatory part of the management report (separate section)
    • Obligatory third-party verification of the Sustainability Report
    • Report in electronic format with tagged contents
  • When does Sustainability Reporting in conformity with the CSRD become mandatory?

    Be aware of the following timeline of the path for CSRD to be implemented into EU and national regulations and to become applicable.

    • 2022 - 2023

    The CSRD is passed and transposed into national law by EU Member States

    • 2024

    First application of the CSRD for financial 2024 for undertakings for which reporting was already mandatory under the NFRD; reports published 2025

    • 2025

    First application of the CSRD for financial 2025 for large undertakings; reports published 2026

    • 2026 - 2028

    First application of the CSRD in 2026 for small and medium-sized capital-market-oriented EU undertakings, with (“opt-out” option) to postpone first application by two years, and in 2028 for non-EU undertakings

Any questions about the new EU Directive? Talk to our experts!

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Sustainability Reporting frameworks and standards – an overview

A range of regulations, frameworks and initiatives for Corporate Sustainability Reporting are in place to establish a mandatory high level of quality for reporting and improve comparability. They include:

  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

    The independent international Global Reporting Initiative provides the GRI Standards, the world's most widely used Sustainability Reporting standards. To date, the majority of undertakings have applied these standards as the basis of their Sustainability Report.

  • European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS)

    As part of implementation of the CSRD, the EU Commission asked the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) to draw up mandatory Europe-wide reporting standards. In future, all companies which fall under CSRD requirements must apply the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) in their reporting.

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

    The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is currently developing investor-oriented sustainability standards for companies’ non-financial reporting.

  • USA Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

    In 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published proposed rules for the disclosure of climate-related information. Under these proposals, listed companies in the USA will be obliged to disclose any climate-change-related risks and climate impacts of their business activities in future.

Uncertain of which sustainability framework or reporting standard is mandatory or advisory for you? We have the answers you need.

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What is a benefit of a company publishing a Sustainability Report

Benefits of sustainability reporting:

  • Reduced costs and enhanced corporate resilience

    Sustainability management helps your company to improve resilience while also cutting costs.

  • Access to fresh capital

    Disclosure of sustainability information and an improved sustainability ranking can unlock access to fresh investment capital for your company.

  • Minimised risk

    By integrating your sustainability performance into all aspects of your operational business, you minimise ecological, social, and financial risks.

  • Improved efficiency

    Collecting sustainability data and integrating them into internal reporting structures helps your company to make well-informed decisions and thus to work more efficiently.

  • Enhanced reputation

    Greater transparency helps your company to build the trust of stakeholders and customers more readily and to establish a more positive profile on the market.

  • Opportunity for innovation

    By identifying areas of expertise and potential for improvement, your company smooths the way for innovation and safeguards its future viability.

  • Systematic engagement with the topic of sustainability

    Sustainability Reporting heightens awareness of the issues and their associated social responsibility throughout all levels of the company.


TÜV SÜD – Your partner for Sustainability Reporting

Place your trust in our specialists’ expertise and experience

With TÜV SÜD at your side you benefit from…

  • A pool of experts with the requisite industry and technical knowledge. We understand the interaction between indicators in the report and other systems in your organisation.
  • Valuable findings from independent experts, as a basis for planning optimisation measures related to the development or advancement of your sustainability indicators.
  • An international network of experts with proactive roles on national and international standardisation committees. We thus keep abreast of the current legal position with respect to the CSRD.
  • Our training programme: from introductory training to building expert knowledge.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Sustainability Reporting

  • What must a Sustainability Report (CSR Report) contain?

    The basic elements of a Sustainability Report comprise descriptions of the company’s business model and strategic direction and of its sustainability risks and opportunities. In addition, details of key performance indicators (KPIs) for the company’s previously defined key activities are given. This includes analysis and evaluation of the data and establishment of new operational and, where applicable, strategic objectives. Reporting takes in the company’s own business activities, but also includes information on its value chain. The report’s ability to build trust mainly depends on how clearly and effectively it presents facts and progresses to the company’s stakeholders.

  • Which companies are obliged to produce a Sustainability Report?

    A company’s obligation to produce an ESG report depends on the individual – usually regulatory – environment and the expectations of the company’s stakeholders. Many companies with registered offices in Europe will fall under the new European law. Despite the gradual introduction of the CSRD, these companies need to address the reporting requirements at an early stage.

  • Who assures a Sustainability Report?

    In recent years, many companies have applied for additional assurance of their Sustainability Reports according to voluntary standards like GRI to further underpin the credibility of their reporting on sustainability topics. The assurance process evaluates the correctness of the data and the accuracy of the data collection and recording. The verifying organisation sets out its conclusions in a Verification Statement, which is published together with the Sustainability Report. As the new regulatory requirements become law, external assurance on the basis of a limited assurance engagement will become mandatory for many companies in the EU. According to the new legislation statutory auditors can perform assurance work on sustainability reporting and also permits Member States to allow any independent assurance services provider accredited to provide an opinion on sustainability reporting. A decision depends on the transposition of the directive into national law, which will take place in the coming months.


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