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Dutch business struggles with impending sustainability reporting

With the deadline for European sustainability reporting looming, research shows that over a quarter of Dutch companies are not yet collecting data on their climate impact. This emerges from an analysis conducted by the research agency SEO and the University of Amsterdam. From the year 2025, large Dutch companies are required by law to report on their sustainability policies and performance under the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

  • 25 per cent of Dutch companies do not collect data on their climate impact.
  • This could cause problems in the future, as reporting will become mandatory from 2025.

Within Europe, this means that 75,000 organisations are required to have their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) approach audited by an external party, similar to how an auditor audits financial statements. For example, consider setting targets for the number of people with a distance to the labour market the company plans to hire.

Anticipation and preparation

There is a noticeable divide between companies that have already taken steps and those that are lagging behind. Half of large companies are already continuously monitoring their sustainability efforts. This contrasts sharply with the 27% that have not yet done anything in this area. These companies will have to play catch-up to fulfil their reporting obligations.

The situation in Belgium

In Belgium, the situation is even more challenging. According to recent research by IPSOS, the vast majority of Belgian companies are not ready for mandatory EU sustainability reporting. This shows that the problem of unpreparedness is not just limited to the Netherlands, but is a broader European challenge.

Large vs small businesses

Initially, this obligation only applies to large companies, which may already be more active in impact measurement and reporting. There is therefore potentially more to be gained by also subjecting smaller companies to this reporting obligation, albeit with attention to the administrative burden this may entail.