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For many co-operative businesses 2024 will be the year preparations for CSRD begin. What is ‘CSRD’? The CSRD, or “Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive”, introduces a common framework for qualifying businesses to use when reporting sustainability information. That information includes environmental, social and governance matters.

James Doyle

According to James Doyle ICOS Legal Counsel and Governance Executive, “The Directive requires the business to transparently report on matters affecting it and its value chain. The business is required to consider its impact on people and the planet and also to consider and report on how external events impact the business.”

The Directive requires that the business reports its information annually and in line with European wide reporting standards. The Directive also requires that the reported information is verified or “audited” by an independent party. 

ICOS is working with lawmakers and stakeholders at European and national level. Our objective is to secure for our members a reporting framework that is proportionate and achievable.  

James Doyle says, “As of now, February 2024 many of the reporting standards have been finalised and adopted. These include the “topical standards”. These are sector agnostic and cover matters such as biodiversity (and ecosystems), climate change and Workers in the value chain. Throughout 2024 it is anticipated that the reporting standards for small and medium sized enterprises will be developed and adopted. The largest businesses operating in Ireland and the EU will be required to report in the year 2026 on their operations and activities in the year 2025. These include co-operative businesses meeting two of three thresholds ((turnover of €40m, balance sheet of €20m, 250 employees).”

ICOS is working with its member co-operatives both large and small on their preparations for the new sustainability reporting regime. That work includes representing the co-operative model and small business realties to lawmakers; securing implementation guidance (for example on materiality, data points and value chain); and promoting awareness and collaboration in the co-operative sector so that the CSRD can be achievable and potentially advantageous for the farmer owned and controlled businesses that we represent.