European Sustainability Reporting Standards now published
On December 22, 2023, the European Commission's delegated regulation finally adopting the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) was published in the Official Journal of the EU. The regulations in question have already entered into force and are directly applicable.
The said regulation supplements Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to sustainability reporting standards. Directive 2013/34/EU, as amended by the so-called CSRD, requires large entities as well as small and medium-sized entities whose securities are admitted to trading on an EU regulated market (as well as parent entities within groups) to include in a separate section of their operations report or consolidated operations report the information necessary to understand the company's impact on sustainability issues and the information necessary to understand the impact of sustainability aspects on the company's growth, performance and position.
As we have written in previous articles, sustainability reporting will ultimately be conducted by:
- all large entities and parent companies of large groups, i.e., meeting at least two of the following three criteria as of the balance sheet date:
- a balance sheet total of more than EUR 20 million,
- net sales revenues of more than EUR 40 million,
- average number of employees in the fiscal year above 250,
- small and medium-sized entities that are public interest entities (which are also not micro-entities),
- small and non-complex institutions as defined in Regulation (EU) no. 575/2013,
- subsidiaries and branches of third-country entities that meet the relevant conditions.
The adopted ESRS standards define the information to be reported by obligated entities as part of non-financial reporting regardless of the sector in which they operate. The standards are grouped according to thematic issues with the following systematics:
|Sustainability reporting standards
(independent of sector)
|ESRS 1 General requirements
ESRS 2 General disclosures
|ESRS E1 Climate change
ESRS E2 Pollution
ESRS E3 Water and marine resources
ESRS E4 Biodiversity and ecosystems
ESRS E5 Resource use and the circular economy
|ESRS S1 Own workforce
ESRS S2 Workers in the value chain
ESRS S3 Affected Communities
ESRS S4 Consumers and end-users
|ESRS G1 Business conduct
However, it is worth signaling that, according to the Ministry of Finance's announcement, the published regulation does not take into account most of the comments submitted to the European Commission regarding errors in the English version of the document, as well as in the translation of the regulation into the other official EU languages. The EC plans to adopt a corrigendum to the regulation in the near future to correct the aforementioned errors.
At the same time, we would like to inform you that the European Commission, with the participation of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), is working on a set of standards for listed SMEs and sector (industry) standards. The latter were supposed to be adopted by June 30, 2024. However, according to recent proposals by EU bodies, the publication of sector standards is to be postponed by two years to allow companies to focus on implementing the first set of ESRS.
We would also like to remind you that the largest entities covered by the provisions of the CSRD are required to report non-financially beginning with the 2024 fiscal year. You can read more about the changes introduced by the CSRD in the following articles:
 Directive (EU) 2022/2464 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 14, 2022 amending Regulation (EU) no. 537/2014, Directive 2004/109/EC, Directive 2006/43/EC and Directive 2013/34/EU, as regards corporate sustainability reporting.