Inspirational sustainability

From different motivators to transparent sustainability reporting requirements: schubert.talks 2023 shed light on what companies will have to face with the CSRD.

Although many companies are already putting sustainability projects into practice today, the EU is gradually imposing new reporting requirements starting in the 2024 reporting year. That this will not be an easy task became clear at schubert.talks 2023, accilium’s in-house networking and discussion event.

With the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the EU is pursuing the goal of establishing a sustainable economic system and obliging around three-quarters of the companies based in the EU to provide extended and transparent sustainability reporting as part of their own annual report.

“Already last year we have learned that for many companies that have never had to report their sustainability efforts, CSRD is a major challenge. As with the mobility and energy transition, we believe it is important to provide space for discourse and exchange on this topic,” Alexander Hotowy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of accilium, explained the reason for the event. The scope of the topic became clear not only in the illumination of the various facets of the new regulations, but was also underlined by the great interest of the invited expert and decisio-maker audience and the lively discussions.

“Implementing the CSRD and establishing it as a management tool in the company is comparable to climbing Mount Everest – both require long-term preparation, a non-negligible investment and lots of stamina.”

Johannes Scherrer, A1

This is also the opinion of Oliver Danninger, Partner and Capability Lead Sustainability & CSRD at accilium, who supports clients in this new challenge. He explored the aspects of the European Green Deal in a panel discussion with Josef Moussa-Lipp, Head of Strategy & Innovation at ÖBB Infrastruktur AG and Johannes Scherrer, Senior Environmental Program Manager at A1.

“Companies affected by CSRD must not wait any longer. In order to ensure that sustainability reporting is not just for the sake of reporting, but can make a targeted contribution to strategic corporate management, it is essential to implement adequate processes at an early stage,” said Danninger, who focused on the urgency and potential of the topic: “Those who set up the right processes now will save at least 25% of total annual costs in the coming years. We can actively support you in this.”

“CSRD can be both: an opportunity and a risk for companies. Ultimately, how they deal with it is crucial.”

Josef Moussa-Lipp, ÖBB Infrastruktur AG

The CSRD will ensure improved comparability within the EU, which in turn will increase the pressure on companies to act sustainably. Investors, banks and insurers will thus be able to better evaluate companies and risks. This will potentially lead to more good examples in sustainability, such as Microsoft and Renault Austria, as companies will be forced to improve their sustainability practices in order to remain competitive with their peers.

“Data is the foundation for any company to successfully implement sustainability. It is ultimately at the core of all sustainability efforts and must be made transparent to drive climate-related improvements through innovation.”

Jutta Grabenhofer, Microsoft Austria

The exchange of experiences and solutions was opened by Jutta Grabenhofer, Sales Manager and Sustainability Lead at Microsoft Austria, with her keynote on sustainability motivators and data-driven implementation.

“In terms of a sustainable future, it is of great importance that we focus on a circular economy. A traceability of supply chains and the use of electromobility are important components in this to enable the mobility transformation.”

Patrizia Ilda Valentini, Renault Österreich

In the following presentation, Patrizia-Ilda Valentini, Business Development Manager EV & New Mobility and Brand Manager Mobilize at Renault, explained the special responsibility of the automotive industry in particular and how her company implements social and ecological sustainability with initiatives such as ReFactory and ElectriCity and brings the regional circular economy to life wherever possible.

“Make a positive contribution to the environment now with CSRD, without forgetting the profitability of your business.”

Oliver Danninger | accilium

Oliver Danninger

Partner & Capability Lead Sustainability and CSRD

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