CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility: A form of business self-regulation that aims to contribute to social goals of a philanthropic, activist, or charitable nature by engaging in, with, or supporting volunteering through pro bono programs, community development, administering monetary grants to non-profit organizations, or to conduct ethically oriented business practices.
Corporate sustainability reporting: Refers to the disclosure of non-financial performance information to outsiders of the organization. Generally speaking, it widely deals with information concerning environmental, social, economic and governance issues. These criteria are gathered under the acronym ESG (Environmental, social and corporate governance).
Double Materiality: A term used in sustainability reporting that brings environmental impacts into the focus of standard-setting in accounting. Information on a company is material and should therefore be disclosed if “a reasonable person would consider it important.” Under the double materiality concept, a sustainability matter can be material from an impact point of view and/or from a risk and opportunity perspective.
EHS – Environment, Health and Safety: a set that implements the practical aspects of protecting the environment and maintaining health and safety at occupation. In simple terms, it is what organizations must do to ensure that their activities do not cause harm to anyone.
ESG – Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance: A framework designed to be embedded into an organization’s strategy that considers the needs and ways to generate value for all organizational stakeholders (such as employees, customers, suppliers, and investors).
Greenwashing: Greenwashing, also called “green sheen”, is a form of advertising or marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly.
Regulations & Directives
CSRD – Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive: A new EU directive that modernizes and strengthens the rules concerning the social and environmental information companies have to report. A broader set of large companies and listed SMEs will now be required to report on sustainability – approximately 50 000 companies in total. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32022L2464
NFRD – Non-Financial Reporting Directive: an amendment to the Accounting Directive adopted in 2014 by the European Parliament. The directive requires listed companies to publish regular reports on the social and environmental risks they face and how their activities impact people and the environment. It remains in force until companies have to apply the new rules of the CSRD. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014L0095
SFDR – Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation: EU regulation on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector. This regulation was adopted to enhance transparency regarding the sustainability of financial products, and thereby to support the direction of private investment funds towards sustainable investments. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32019R2088
EFRAG – European Financial Reporting Advisory Group: A private association with the encouragement of the European Commission to serve the public interest. EFRAG extended its mission in 2022, providing Technical Advice to the European Commission in the form of fully prepared draft EU Sustainability Reporting Standards and/or draft amendments to these Standards. https://www.efrag.org/
ESAP – European Single Access Point: A new legislative proposal by the European Commission that acts as a centralized platform that can be accessed for publicly disclosed financial reporting and sustainability-related information about EU companies and investment products. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-an-economy-that-works-for-people/file-european-single-access-point
ESRS – European Sustainability Reporting Standards: Approved by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), ESRS sets out the rules and requirements for companies to report on sustainability-related impacts, opportunities and risks under the EU’s upcoming Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD). https://finance.ec.europa.eu/news/commission-adopts-european-sustainability-reporting-standards-2023-07-31_en
GHG Protocol – Greenhouse Gas Protocol: The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard provides requirements and guidance for companies and organizations preparing a corporate-level GHG emissions inventory. The standard covers the accounting and reporting of seven greenhouse gasses covered by the Kyoto Protocol. https://ghgprotocol.org/
GRI – Global Reporting Initiative: An international independent standards organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate their impacts on issues such as climate change, human rights and corruption. GRI provides the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting standards (the GRI Standards). https://www.globalreporting.org/
IASB – The International Accounting Standards Board: The independent accounting standard-setting body of the IFRS Foundation. It is responsible for developing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and promoting their use and application. https://www.ifrs.org/groups/international-accounting-standards-board/
IFRS – International Financial Reporting Standards: Accounting standards issued by the IFRS Foundation and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). They constitute a standardized way of describing the company’s financial performance and position so that company financial statements are understandable and comparable across international boundaries. https://www.ifrs.org/
ISO 14001:2015: ISO standard related to environmental management that exists to help organizations (a) minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment (i.e., cause adverse changes to air, water, or land); (b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements; and (c) continually improve in the above. https://www.iso.org/standard/60857.html
ISO 45001:2018: an ISO standard for management systems of occupational health and safety (OHS), published in March 2018. The goal of ISO 45001 is the reduction of occupational injuries and diseases, including promoting and protecting physical and mental health. https://www.iso.org/standard/63787.html
SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board: A non-profit organization developing sustainability accounting standards. Investors and other financial providers are increasingly attuned to the impact of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors on the financial performance of companies, driving the need for standardized reporting of ESG data. https://sasb.org/