Current analysis of sustainability reports

Current analysis of mandatory sustainability reports shows deficits in environmental and climate reporting.

The study “Climate and Environmental Reporting by German Companies” published by the Federal Environment Agency was conducted by the IÖW, the Fair Finance Institute and Arqum on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency and reveals exciting results with regard to German CSR reporting practice. Companies that are obliged to report according to the CSR-RUG are reporting more extensively on climate, water, resources and waste with each passing year. At the same time, however, there are still large gaps. Climate is the dominant environmental topic in reporting, other environmental topics fall behind.

For example, for 2019, more than 80% of companies reported on climate, while only about 20% of companies provided information on air pollution control and biodiversity. The study also shows that anchoring responsibility for sustainability at the highest management level, the existence of an environmental management system and the use of reporting standards are associated with more extensive reporting.


It becomes clear that the identified gaps in reporting are often due to insufficient legal requirements. The Federal Environment Agency therefore proposes, among other things, that EU-wide reporting requirements be established for individual environmental topics. The proposed amendments to the CSR Directive (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) presented by the EU Commission at the end of April also contain concrete proposals for expanding and intensifying mandatory reporting. Thus, in the future (from the 2023 business year), companies with a size of 250 employees or more could be subject to the reporting obligation.


The Federal Environment Agency has published the brochure “Climate and Environmental Reporting by German Companies” with the study results, good reporting practices and recommendations for action here.


Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the (future) CSR reporting obligation or would like to know what effects the amendment of the CSR reporting obligation could have on you.


Contact person at Arqum:
Theresa Steyrer

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