CSRD / ESRS Sustainability Topics (Matters)

Together with the CSRD Delegated Act 31.07.2023 twelve ESRS standards were released that contain sustainability topics supporting companies detecting their Material Matters through a process called Double Materiality Assessment.

Sustainability topic is called Material matter when it turns out that company's operation is causing significant impact to nature and/or people in the light of the given sustainability topic. Alternatively when chaining wold around the company is causing significant risks to the company's financial situation in short, mid or long term. 

Out of these twelve standards two first are mandatory for every company while the rest of the 10 are sector specific standards each of which might be more relevant for certain economic activities than another ones.

The sector specific standards are categorized into Environmental, Social and Governance topics: ESRS E1-E5 for Environmental, ESRS S1-S4 for Social and ESRS G1 for Governance

You need to consider the specific circumstances when determining the material matters for your organization. Where necessary you should develop entity-specific disclosures on material impacts, risks and opportunities not covered by ESRS.

Topical ESRS Topic Sub-topic Sub-sub-topics
ESRS E1 Climate change Climate change adaptation
Climate change mitigation
ESRS E2 Pollution Pollution of air
Pollution of water
Pollution of soil
Pollution of living organisms and food resources
Substances of concern
Substances of very high concern
ESRS E3 Water and marine resources Water
Marine resources
Water consumption
Water withdrawals
Water discharges
Water discharges in the oceans
Extraction and use of marine resources
ESRS E4 Biodiversity and ecosystems Direct impact drivers of biodiversity loss Climate Change
Land-use change, fresh water-use change and sea-use change
Direct exploitation
Invasive alien species
Impacts on the state of species Examples:
Species population size
Species global extinction risk
Impacts on the extent and condition of ecosystems Examples:
Land degradation
Soil sealing
Impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services
ESRS E5 Circular economy Resources inflows, including resource use
Resource outflows related to products and services
ESRS S1 Own workforce Working conditions Secure employment
Working time
Adequate wages
Social dialogue
Freedom of association, the existence of works councils and the information, consultation and participation rights of workers
Collective bargaining, including rate of workers covered by collective agreements
Work-life balance
Health and safety
Equal treatment and opportunities for all Gender equality and equal pay for work of equal value
Training and skills development
Employment and inclusion of persons with disabilities
Measures against violence and harassment in the workplace
Other work-related rights Child labour
Forced labour
Adequate housing
ESRS S3 Affected communities Communities’ economic, social and cultural rights Adequate housing
Adequate food
Water and sanitation
Land-related impacts
Security-related impacts
Communities’ civil and political rights Freedom of expression
Freedom of assembly
Impacts on human rights defenders
Rights of indigenous peoples Free, prior and informed consent
Cultural rights
ESRS S4 Consumers and end-users Information-related impacts for consumers and/or end-users Privacy
Freedom of expression
Access to (quality) information
Personal safety of consumers and/or end-users Health and safety
Security of a person
Protection of children
Social inclusion of consumers and/or end-users Non-discrimination
Access to products and services
Responsible marketing practices
ESRS G1 Business conduct Corporate culture
Protection of whistle-blowers
Animal welfare
Political engagement and lobbying activities
Management of relationships with suppliers including payment
Corruption and bribery Prevention and detection including training

Ask Yourself

Which of these Sustainability Topics are relevant for My Business?