The CSR Directive takes effect in 2017. It requires companies listed on a stock exchange to make a statement on diversity, the environment, workers’ and social concerns, respect for human rights and the fight against corruption. Capital markets oriented companies, as well as credit institutions and insurance companies with more than 500 employees, are affected.

The GRI G4 Reporting Standard serves as a guideline

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) aims to help companies approach the broad field of sustainability reporting. Its G4 reporting standard offers issuers guidelines on how to incorporate CSR issues into their reporting. A key element is the company materiality analysis which allows companies to independently determine which sustainability issues are particularly important to them and their stakeholders and which are less relevant. This leads to a prioritization in corporate management. However, the result is often reams of text which need to be edited for and targeted to stakeholders.

EQS Group’s interactive materiality analysis provides an overview

This is where digital tools such as EQS Group’s interactive materiality analysis come into play, providing a clear overview. With the help of color and size coding of modular tiles, companies get a quick overview of the classification of their priorities. The user can customize this modular overview and select topics. The tile display immediately adjusts and displays only the relevant areas. And if topics are classified as insignificant, the user is shown an explanation as to the reason.

Interactive materiality analysis is individual and versatile

Materiality analysis in Geberit Annual Report 2016
Materiality analysis in Geberit Annual Report 2016

The tool is integrated into the online annual report or online sustainability report but is also suitable for the IR and/or sustainability sections of a corporate website.

Conclusion

The CSR Directive will play a role in the increase of reporting on sustainability issues. Publicly listed companies will need to dedicate time identifying the issues relevant to them, collecting the necessary data and preparing it. This effort shouldn’t be a pointless endeavor that only results in reams of dry text that never reaches your target group. Targeted sustainability reporting gives your stakeholders direct access to this relevant information!