Chief Sustainability Officers: Navigating CSRD and a New Era of Reporting Requirements



As a Chief Sustainability Officer, you play a pivotal role in steering your organization toward a more responsible future. The impending Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) isn’t just another regulatory hurdle; it’s a seismic shift in how you should approach sustainability reporting. 


Worldly has undertaken an extensive review of the full CSRD — here’s how we recommend that leaders in your role prepare. 




CSRD can be your sustainability roadmap.

Today, many brands often focus on two or three sustainability priorities. While CSRD will permit businesses to prioritize their efforts, many will need to actively manage and report progress on all of their material sustainability issues, which can encompass a wide range of topics including biodiversity, water impacts, circularity, impacts on workers’ communities and more. 

But approached with the right mindset, compliance can be used as a roadmap for your overall sustainability strategy. CSRD explains and defines some of the most pressing focus areas in emissions, environmental, and labor topics — and importantly, it’s built upon embraced international frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

By setting targets and gathering data in accordance with the CSRD requirements, your business will be investing in an approach that is likely future-proofed for other regulations. ​​No matter how long your company has been working on sustainability, gathering data according to CSRD’s guidelines can provide a reliable framework over the coming years. 


Primary data will be key. 

CSRD will require companies to have data on their material impacts, their environmental risks and opportunities, and on the progress made on improvement plans across their entire value chains. While some companies have data on some of these measures, we see few that have consistent and verifiable primary data across all of these topics. 

Under CSRD, primary data collection in a structured, efficient way will be critical as businesses need to simultaneously set and make progress towards comprehensive targets. Sector average data will only be admissible for the first three years, after which primary data from value chain partners will be required. This will be particularly important in Tier 2 (material production), which accounts for 53% of total apparel industry greenhouse gas emissions according to a recent analysis by the Apparel Impact Institute. 

We believe that the smartest businesses will begin investing now in processes and tools for robust primary data collection across their value chains.


CSRD may be an inflection point for your team. 

CSOs must lead in formulating and executing concrete plans for CSRD compliance. Underfunded and understaffed teams will fall behind, and savvy CSOs will begin advocating now for the appropriate resources: everything from budgets, to people, processes, and technology. 

As sustainability reporting moves from voluntary to mandatory compliance, the changing regulatory landscape is a chance to educate your CEO, peers, and colleagues on what’s needed. CSRD compliance necessitates more than good intentions; it requires setting targets and tracking impact metrics at multiple time horizons across a number of impact areas. Fortunately, the annual facilities impact data that companies collect through the SAC’s Higg Index tools hosted on Worldly can be used to establish a baseline, quantify data from the current year to previous years, and to serve as inputs to developing medium- and long-term time horizons. 

For sustainability teams with limited resources and time, a trusted technology partner will be essential. With industry-leading assessments and tools that can aid disclosures, Worldly is here to help support your CSRD efforts with confidence. 

Get in touch today and learn how Worldly can support your compliance efforts.



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