What are the ESRS standards?

What are the ESRS standards?

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The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) are a set of standards that were finalized and adopted by the European Commission, becoming effective for the 2024 reporting period. These standards are an integral part of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and require companies to provide detailed sustainability information. The ESRS are based on the concept of double materiality, which encompasses both financial and impact perspectives, and cover a wide range of environmental, social, and governance topics.

Enhancing Corporate Transparency and Sustainability Reporting

The ESRS are part of the EU's efforts to enhance corporate transparency and sustainability reporting. These standards are mandatory and include both general and specific reporting requirements across various sustainability aspects. They aim to promote depth and breadth in reporting, extending to supply chain and product lifecycle analysis.

One of the key features of the ESRS is the integration of sustainability information into annual reports, which are subject to external audit. This raises the importance of sustainability disclosures and ensures that companies are held accountable for their sustainability practices. By making sustainability reporting a mandatory requirement, the ESRS contribute significantly to the EU's climate neutrality goals by 2050 and its sustainable economic system strategy.

Adoption and Implementation

The European Commission adopted the Delegated Act on the first set of European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) on July 31, 2023. This adoption was mandated by the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and was published in the Official Journal on December 22, 2023.

Companies within the scope of the CSRD will be required to comply with the ESRS. The reporting requirements will be gradually phased in, with the first companies applying the standards in the financial year 2024 for reports published in 2025. Listed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will start reporting from 2026, with a voluntary opt-out option until 2028.

During the development of the ESRS, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) played a crucial role as the technical adviser. EFRAG addressed feedback from consultations and ensured that the standards were comprehensive and aligned with the needs of companies and stakeholders.


The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) are an important development in corporate sustainability reporting. These standards, mandated by the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), require companies to provide detailed sustainability information based on the double materiality concept. The ESRS contribute to corporate transparency, sustainability reporting, and the EU's climate neutrality goals. Compliance with the ESRS will be phased in gradually, with companies starting to apply the standards in the financial year 2024. Listed SMEs will have the option to voluntarily opt-out until 2028.

For organizations looking to enhance their sustainability reporting and comply with the ESRS, it is crucial to understand the requirements and implications of these standards. Working with a sustainability partner like AtlasZero can provide the necessary expertise and support to navigate the complexities of the ESRS and ensure accurate and comprehensive reporting.

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