What is the XBRL format for CSRD?

What is the XBRL format for CSRD?

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The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) mandates extensive sustainability reporting for companies within the EU, using the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). This directive extends beyond listed companies, encompassing large non-listed companies as well. CSRD aligns with the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF), advocating for digital reporting using Inline XBRL (iXBRL). Let's explore what this means and how it can benefit organizations in their sustainability reporting journey.

XBRL: Facilitating Machine-Readable Business Reporting

The integration of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) in corporate sustainability reporting marks a significant shift towards digital and standardized disclosures. Initially developed for financial information, XBRL facilitates machine-readable business reporting. This shift is driven by the convergence of sustainability reporting with financial disclosures, which are already familiar with XBRL tagging.

Key developments include the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) releasing an XBRL taxonomy and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) working on a Sustainability Disclosure Taxonomy. With XBRL and Inline XBRL (iXBRL), reports become more accessible and analyzable for both humans and machines, promising more efficient and accurate sustainability reporting.

The European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) and CSRD: Pivotal Regulations

In the context of financial and sustainability reporting, the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) and Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) have become pivotal. These regulations advocate for the use of Inline XBRL (iXBRL), a format that combines human-readable content with machine-readable data. This innovation aims to enhance transparency, accessibility, and accuracy in reporting.

Compliance with ESEF and CSRD is essential for companies to ensure efficient and precise disclosure of financial and sustainability information, thus catering to the needs of various stakeholders. By adopting iXBRL, organizations can streamline their reporting processes and improve data quality, ultimately leading to more reliable and comparable sustainability reports.

Double Materiality Principle and Sustainability Audits

A key aspect of CSRD reporting is the principle of double materiality, considering both financial and environmental impacts. This principle recognizes that sustainability issues can have a significant influence on a company's financial performance and vice versa. By incorporating double materiality into reporting, organizations can provide a comprehensive view of their sustainability efforts and their potential financial implications.

Additionally, CSRD requires independent audits of reports for enhanced credibility and accuracy. Sustainability audits play a crucial role in verifying the reliability of reported data and ensuring compliance with reporting standards. These audits provide stakeholders with confidence in the accuracy and transparency of sustainability information disclosed by organizations.

The Benefits of Digital Reporting with iXBRL

The adoption of iXBRL in sustainability reporting offers several benefits. Firstly, it improves reporting transparency by making information more accessible to stakeholders. With iXBRL, users can easily navigate through reports, search for specific data points, and analyze information in a structured manner.

Secondly, iXBRL enhances data quality by reducing errors and inconsistencies. The machine-readable nature of iXBRL allows for automated data validation, minimizing the risk of manual data entry mistakes. This ensures that the reported information is accurate and reliable.

Furthermore, iXBRL enables comparability across different reports and organizations. The standardized format allows for easier benchmarking and analysis, facilitating the identification of best practices and areas for improvement.


The XBRL format for CSRD represents a significant step forward in sustainability reporting. By leveraging iXBRL, organizations can comply with EU regulations, enhance reporting transparency, improve data quality, and promote comparability. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important aspect of business operations, embracing digital reporting formats like iXBRL will be crucial for organizations looking to meet the evolving expectations of stakeholders and drive meaningful change toward a more sustainable future.

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