Why German companies see the sustainability reporting obligation as a driver of innovation and growth

The EU has set a new milestone in corporate responsibility: With the introduction of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) from 2024, companies will be obliged to submit annual reports on their environmental, social and compliant management – comparable to standardised financial ratios. This will become the new reality for around 15,000 companies in Germany. The core of these reporting obligations consists of 160 key figures, which are intended to make it possible to directly compare the transformation of companies with one another and measure their progress in terms of sustainability.

However, while the CSRD undoubtedly represents an important step towards greater transparency and responsibility in business, many managers are faced with an increasing workload. The requirement to collect up to 1,300 data points is exacerbating the rampant ‘reporting fatigue’. In particular, the lack of clarity about some key figures in detail makes implementation even more challenging.

Despite these obstacles, the question arises: Are there also positive aspects of CSRD for companies? Can the new rules serve as a driver of innovation and motivate managers to drive forward the sustainable transformation of their companies? Together with the Centre for Sustainable Transformation (zNT), we are addressing this question and investigating the extent to which the CSRD helps to create an incentive for future-oriented and responsible corporate management.

About the zNT (Centre for Sustainable Transformation)

The Centre for Sustainable Transformation (zNT) at Quadriga University Berlin is a think tank and consultancy. Since 2022, zNT has regularly developed scientific interventions that deal with solving the challenges and questions that sustainable transformation poses for companies and politics. In addition, zNT specialises in strategy and implementation of stakeholder management in change situations. zNT advises companies and organisations where solutions with measurable effects are needed, but where best practices often do not yet exist. More at https://www.znt-berlin.com.