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European Sustainability Reporting Standards

To define specific disclosure requirements, the CSRD requires the European Commission to adopt sustainability reporting standards based on technical advice from the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).


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Please cite this register in conjunction with the following article:
Hummel, K., Jobst, D., 2024. An Overview of Corporate Sustainability Reporting Legislation in the European Union. Accounting in Europe. DOI: 10.1080/17449480.2024.2312145


In November 2022, the EFRAG sustainability reporting board approved a first set of European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), which were then submitted to the European Commission. In June 2023 the European Commission released a first draft delegated regulation, which sets out cross-cutting standards and standards for the disclosure of environmental, social and governance information. A first set of standards was adopted by the European Commission with a delegated act in July 2023.

Institutional arrangement

    January 2020The European Commission announced a proposal to develop sustainability reporting standards.
    June 2020The European Commission mandated EFRAG to establish a project task force dedicated to developing recommendations for EU sustainability reporting standards (PTF-ESRS). 
    June 2021EFRAG initiated a consultation on due process procedures for setting EU sustainability reporting standards.
    July 2021The PTF-ESRS announced a statement of cooperation with GRI.
    March 2022A final version of due process procedures was approved by EFRAG’s General Assembly. Those procedures outline the principles and oversight applied when preparing draft standards as well setting agendas and standards.
    March 2022A Sustainability Reporting Board (SRB) was established within EFRAG.
    April 2022The PTF-ESRS issued exposure drafts for a first set of European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) and initiated a public consultation process with comments to be received until the beginning of August 2022.
    November 2022The EFRAG SRB adopted the first set of draft ESRS and submitted them to the European Commission.
    July 2023The European Commission adopted a first set of standards with a delegated act.

    Scope and structure

    The ESRS comprise three different categories of standards:

    • cross-cutting standards,

    • topical standards and

    • sector-specific standards.

    The adopted ESRS currently consist of cross-cutting standards as well as topical standards.

    • The cross-cutting standards contain general reporting requirements (ESRS 1) and general disclosures (ESRS 2).

      • ESRS 1 explains the standards’ double-materiality approach. An‘impact’ means a sustainability-related impact of a company’s business on people or the environment (impact materiality) whereas ‘risks and opportunities’ refer to a company’s financial risks and opportunities that are generated by sustainability matters (financial materiality).The materiality assessment is the starting point for disclosures on sustainability matters according to the topical standards, and AR16 of ESRS 1 also delineate the sustainability matters to be considered by a company and which are covered by the topical standards. 

      • ESRS 2 requires companies to provide general information on the materiality assessment process for sustainability matters and the material impacts and risks, and opportunities.

    • The topical standards contain additional disclosure requirements for material sustainability topics and are divided into environmental (ESRS E1 to E5), social (ESRS S1 to S4), and governance (ESRS G1) matters.

    The reporting requirements of ESRS 2 and the topical standards focus on a company’s governance, the interaction of its strategy and business model with material impacts and risks and opportunities, the management of impacts and risks and opportunities, and the use of metrics and targets.

    The ESRS also connect to other EU disclosure legislation. In particular, ESRS 2 contains a list that reconciles disclosures according to the standards with certain data requirements of the SFDR and the Pillar 3 disclosures (Appendix B of ESRS 2). Moreover, references are made throughout the standards whenever disclosure requirements are related to the Taxonomy Regulation.