CSRD beyond reporting: The 10 most asked questions on Double Materiality Assessment

CSRD beyond reporting: The 10 most asked questions on Double Materiality Assessment
Publ. date 23 May 2023
Double Materiality is one of the hottest, yet most uncertain, topics within the sustainability sphere right now. With the date of mandatory CSRD disclosure rapidly coming closer, many organizations feel overwhelmed when it comes to conducting a Double Materiality Assessment in line with CSRD and the guidance provided by the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). After Finch & Beak’s “ESG Acceleration Webinar on Strengthening Your Double Materiality Approach”, it became apparent that many organizations were looking for further guidance and advice – the majority (70%) of them either have not started yet or are still being at the beginning of their Double Materiality journey. Therefore, to answer the most pressing questions, Finch & Beak has hosted four Double Materiality Q&A roundtables in small groups. The download contains detailed answers to the 10 most relevant and pressing questions from our audience.



The above download answers the most frequently asked questions 

Due to the more demanding requirements surrounding the Double Materiality Assessment (DMA) under CSRD and the uncertainty caused by the ESRS guidelines still being in a draft state (expected publication of the 12 ESRS standards by July 2023), many organizations struggle with the execution of a CSRD-aligned Double Materiality Assessment. Although more light will be shed in August 2023 with the expected publication of ESRS guidelines on the preparation of the double materiality analysis, management of the value chain and gap analysis of the data points, many organizations reached out to us asking to receive more guidance in the meantime. This was also reflected in the high number of questions we received after our Double Materiality webinar and before the roundtables as well as the great interest that our DMA-events have sparked. The majority of our roundtable’s participants stated that they have not yet started their Double Materiality journey (31%) or are still at the beginning (39%). The minority has fought its way midway through the assessment (12%), is getting towards the end (8%) or has already managed to finish their DMA (7%).

These are the top 10 most frequently asked questions 

After collecting the numerous questions, the participants shared with us, the following main categories were identified where organizations are still tapping in the dark:

  • Selection of ESG topics, i.e., how to select the right topics for the longlist? How to conduct a value chain analysis?
  • Stakeholder engagement, i.e., how to best engage external and internal stakeholders? Which formats should be used?
  • Impact measurement, i.e., how to assess impacts? How to quantify identified impacts?
  • Consolidation of results, i.e., what are common thresholds? How to select the most material and impactful ESG topics?
  • Operationalization of material ESG topics, i.e., how to effectively integrate the identified ESG topics into the strategy? How often should a DMA be conducted?

The download attached contains the detailed answers to these 10 most frequently asked questions.

Use the opportunity to go beyond reporting and accelerate your sustainability strategy

Undeniably, conducting a Double Materiality Assessment is a time- and resource-intensive task, but can also be seen as an exercise that adds a lot of value if it goes beyond compliance and simple disclosure. By incorporating a strategic and long-term lens into the assessment, businesses are able to identify opportunities to enhance their sustainability performance, strengthen stakeholder relationships, and ultimately drive business growth.

One organization that effectively used its DMA results to determine its strategic direction is Arkema. After conducting its Double Materiality Assessment in 2022, the company used the outcomes to update its priorities and targets and aligned its CSR commitments with the material topics identified by the DMA. This allowed Arkema to ultimately strengthen its sustainability strategy and accelerate its ESG performance.

Although businesses do not yet have to disclose their CSRD-aligned Double Materiality Assessment and smaller-sized organizations still have some time to prepare, we strongly recommend complying voluntarily and already start your DMA work as soon as possible.

Want to know more about double materiality assessment and its strategic benefits?

If you would like to know more about double materiality or require assistance with your double materiality assessment, get in touch with Johana Schlotter, at Johana@finchandbeak.com or call +31 6 28 02 18 80 to discuss how Finch & Beak can support you.

About Rachel Wilbertz

Ambitious professional aiming to promote corporate sustainability, sustainable development, and environmental justice to combat the most pressing social and environmental challenges of the 21st century | rachel@finchandbeak.com

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