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Six challenges for Corporate Sustainability Practitioners in Europe

February 21, 2023
challenges for Corporate Sustainability Practitioners in Europe

Are Sustainability Professionals in Europe ready to face the challenges of the complex ESG ecosystem?


You are determined to devote time to take a three-day Digital Sustainability ESG Training. You know the value of a deeper understanding of Corporate Responsibility! Even so, which exactly are the main challenges that this training will prepare you for?



  1. It’s what is defined as “green” that counts

First of all, the EU taxonomy of sustainable economic activities is a tool to help investors understand whether an economic activity is environmentally sustainable. The aim is to navigate the transition to a low-carbon economy. These regulations on sustainable investing define what counts as “green” investment.  EU-based companies, banks and fund managers have to disclose whether or not their investments meet the standards of the Taxonomy Regulation’s classification system. Much of the recent debate stems from the inclusion of natural gas and nuclear technologies in the framework (the so-called Complementary Climate Delegated Act). Clearly, addressing EU taxonomy usability issues can be challenging when it comes to what is truly sustainable and what is greenwash.


  1. Are you prepared for a growing transatlantic divide over how firms should handle ESG?

In US the debate on climate-related disclosure is going back to “why we are doing it”. At the same time, EU seems determined to regulate the complex ESG ratings ecosystem and put an end to the impasse of misleading standards.  Indeed, after a long time of shifting viewpoints on what materiality means, two concepts are becoming increasingly important for sustainability management and reporting: Double Materiality and Do No Significant Harm (DNSH). Under this approach, companies will be required to report both (i) the impacts of their activities on people and the environment, and (ii) how various sustainability matters affect the company. DNSH means that measures and activities must contribute to attainment of one sustainability target, without adversely affecting attainment of other sustainability targets. Unquestionably, a great challenge to many sustainability professionals.


  1. New corporate sustainability ESG disclosures

At this time, the European Union has finalized the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). CSRD will introduce specific sustainability reporting requirements for EU companies, non-EU companies meeting certain thresholds for net turnover in the EU and companies with securities listed on a regulated EU market. The CSRD entered into force on January 5, 2023. The rules will be phased in starting from January 1, 2024 for certain large EU and EU-listed companies, and will apply to all in-scope companies by January 1, 2028.


  1. GRI Revised Universal Standards

Sustainability reporting standards that are setting the highest level of transparency for impacts on the economy, environment and people, moved to full adoption stage, on January 1st 2023. The Universal Standards 2021 are active – meaning all GRI reporters are required to use these key standards for information published on or after this date.


  1. Who will invest where?

According to a recent Morning Consult poll commissioned by IBM, 61% of global business leaders said that their business will be investing in sustainability programs and initiatives to meet their ESG goals in the next 12 months. As the US Inflation Reduction Act (CRS, 2022) provides significant subsidies in the form of tax credits and makes those credits conditional on production being US-based and on sourcing inputs from North America, Europe is restless.

Undoubtedtly, the EU economies are now concerned that the primary export sectors of the EU will not be eligible for U.S. tax advantages. As a result, this will encourage businesses to move across the Atlantic in pursuit of a better deal. The “Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age” builds on a number of current initiatives to address these challenges.


  1. International trade and political frictions between the world’s largest economies

Supply chain issues are now in the spotlight due to the Inflation Reduction Act. An electric car must have 50% of its battery’s components built in North America in order to be eligible for the $7,500 tax credit. This rises by 10% annually, so by 2029 all batteries for electric vehicles that want to receive credit must be produced on this continent. To receive the same benefit, 40% of the essential minerals used in electric vehicles must originate in the United States or from a nation with which it has free trade agreements. These agreements don’t exist between the U.S. and Europe. It should be noted that this is a major challenge.


Your trusted partner to help you untangle the knot of ESG

CSE’s Digital Certified Sustainability ESG Practitioner Program (Advanced Edition 2023) offers practical application grounded in theory, based on years of experience implementing actual CSR with corporations and organizations around the world. This is the “how to” course for identifying stakeholders, material issues, goals, implementation and reporting.


Upcoming Programs: Certified Sustainability (ESG) Practitioner Programs

                         For more information & discounts contact us at [email protected]



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