Most Asked Questions (and Answers) on Double Materiality and CSRD

Outcomes of online roundtables with more than 130 ESG professionals
Most Asked Questions (and Answers) on Double Materiality and CSRD
Publ. date 14 May 2024
In the ever-evolving landscape of sustainability reporting, double materiality has emerged as a critical concept, challenging organisations to consider materiality from both the impact as well as financial perspective. As businesses navigate this paradigm shift, Finch & Beak hosted six online roundtable sessions in February and March 2024 to answer the most frequently asked questions on the topic, shedding light on key insights and practical applications. In this article, we summarise the 16 most discussed challenges - with practical answers.

Companies seek clear guidance to effectively navigate their double materiality assessment

In early 2024, Finch & Beak hosted a new series of online roundtables around the topic of double materiality with our expert Valeria Calvas. We welcomed more than 130 professionals from around the world to answer their most pressing questions and share practical insights on how to conduct the exercise and comply with the guidelines of the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The majority of our participants stated that they were in the initial stages of the double materiality journey, with 22% not having started and 36% at the beginning. In this context, the most frequently asked questions surrounding double materiality in 2024 serve as a compass, guiding organisations through the complexities of this evolving landscape.

From the practicalities of conducting a value chain analysis to navigating stakeholder engagement and consolidating Double Materiality Assessment results, these questions capture the wide range and complexity of challenges faced by sustainability practitioners, finance teams, investors, and stakeholders alike. The attached downloadable summary compiles the 16 most discussed questions across these five categories:

  1. Starting a Double Materiality Assessment
  2. Engaging Your Stakeholders
  3. Defining Impact Materiality & Financial Materiality
  4. Consolidating the Results
  5. Going Beyond Reporting

Going beyond reporting to leverage strategic value

Embarking on the journey of integrating double materiality into business practices is not only a regulatory necessity but also a strategic imperative for companies committed to sustainability. Whether under the purview of CSRD legislation or not, organizations stand to benefit from embracing it a powerful strategic tool.

While the process may seem lengthy and complex, it offers unparalleled opportunities for organisations to gain deeper insights into their value chains, engage with stakeholders more meaningfully, and unlock new avenues for value creation. As companies navigate this terrain, it is essential to approach the task with diligence, patience, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

In doing so, companies not only fulfil their regulatory obligations but also position themselves as leaders, driving positive change within their industries and communities. Embracing double materiality is not just a compliance exercise; it is an opportunity to redefine business practices, foster innovation, and create a more sustainable future.

Making your double materiality assessment pain-free, relevant, and valuable

Finch & Beak and SLR Consulting have years of experience in double materiality assessments and can provide you with hands-on support to manage the process and enable you to leverage its strategic value. Are you looking for assistance with your double materiality assessment? Get in touch to discuss how our team at SLR Consulting can support you.

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

About Stéphanie Finet

Driven professional passionate about linking Sustainability key topics with business strategies to drive concrete actions and positive change. | stephanie@finchandbeak.com

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