ESG/CSR - Why do all decision makers need to deal with ESG?

Regardless of how you stand on the subject and what opinion you have formed so far; you will not be able to avoid this topic!

ESG - short for Environment, Social, Governance, expresses expectations of companies about their environmental and social behavior, as well as compliance with the laws in the countries where the company operates. The term ESG has replaced CSR in the discussion. This puts more emphasis on the environmental side and governance. At the same time, the core, corporate responsibility, is pushed into the background with the term ESG.

Companies are required to report on the extent to which they meet expectations. However, neither expectations nor reporting requirements are regulated in one place and uniformly.

In addition to legal standards, the expectations of various stakeholders, from investors and banks to politicians and the public, customers and suppliers, and employees in particular, build up pressure on companies.

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The Business Case for ESG

ESG is not only a moral imperative but also a smart business strategy. Embracing ESG practices can enhance brand reputation, foster strong stakeholder relationships, and attract and retain top talent. It can also lead to operational efficiencies, cost savings, and risk mitigation. By integrating ESG into our business, we ensure long-term resilience and create value for our organization and stakeholders.
When does sustainability start to pay off? Here are some examples that illustrate its benefits:

1. Resource efficiency: By avoiding excessive resource usage, minimizing rejects and
waste, and improving occupational safety to reduce downtime, working sustainably
can lead to cost savings and operational improvements.

2. Resource access: The current surge in sustainability funds presents opportunities for
new funding, as banks increasingly consider ESG when evaluating companies
Additionally, employee attitudes towards sustainability can impact access to

3. Customer access: The customer plays a vital role in driving sustainability. If customers
are willing to pay more for sustainable products and prioritize sustainable aspects
during their purchases, it can have a significant positive impact. Factors such as
product lifespan, repair costs, and disposal/recycling expenses are also important
considerations. The extent to which the younger generation will act on these
commitments remains to be seen.

CSRD - Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

From NFRD to CSRD: The Advanced Sustainability Reporting

The importance of CSR reporting is currently changing significantly as a result of the new EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Reporting (CSRD). When it came into force in January 2023, this directive changed the rulebook for companies in the EU.

Previously, certain public interest entities were already required to document their sustainability efforts. However, the CSRD goes one step further by not only extending the requirements of the previous Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), but also drastically expanding the range of companies affected.

These new regulations provide deep insights into the sustainability efforts of many companies. The CSRD sets a milestone in the development of corporate reporting and points the way to a more transparent and sustainable economy.

This is an embedded YouTube video which activates when you click on the play button.

EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive - Opportunity or Compliance Challenge?

This discussion is aimed at executives in boards, asset management, marketing, sales and HR. It explains the new European law, its implications and the best Sstrategies. The programme will help you decide whether the law is an opportunity or a compliance issue. Led by four experts with experience in stakeholder management, metrics and reporting, this one-hour session is crucial for business leaders.


The law is expected to surpass even the GDPR. It calls for smart compliance to avoid unnecessary expenses for inexperienced companies. The programme briefly outlines the impact of the law, provides guidance on how to adapt for compliance or growth, and introduces standards for human capital and audits.

Please find more about the CSRD in this article.

Feel free to contact us for information on how we can help you implement the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

We collaborate on Worldwide Effort to Help Organizations Upgrade Corporate Sustainability Reports

New Service Launched to Support EU Compliant Corporate Sustainability Reporting

We are proud to be among the top three companies with a greater collective expertise than any other firm when it comes to producing Corporate Sustainability Reports. These reports undergo independent audits in accordance with ISO standards. Together with Enterprise Engagement Alliance and HR Metrics we have united our efforts to support organizations of all scales worldwide in embracing the necessary shift towards a future characterized by enhanced transparency in management, marketing, and reporting.

Learn more here or contact our expert Dr. Heiko Mauterer here.



Webcast - What you should know about ESG

4C expert Stephan Grunwald as a guest on Wolters Kluwer's CPM FactCast (CCH Tagetik product division)


What does ESG mean for corporate governance? This question was addressed by 4C Senior Partner Stephan Grunwald together with other experts in Wolters Kluwer's CPM FactCast (CCH Tagetik product area).
They discussed the following topics, among others:

  • What does ESG mean and for whom is it relevant?
  • What exactly do companies need to deliver and by when?
  • To what extent is ESG an auditing topic?
  • How does ESG affect employees in the company?
  • And many more

Would you like to learn more about ESG? Then you can find the recorded webcast here!

You can find more information on the topic here in the corresponding blog article: ESG - Why no company will be able to avoid it in future!


Our broschures for ESG

Whitepaper CSR Reporting, Study and thesis paper CSR Reporting


CSR Reporting - legal duty and marketing dumb or meaningful control?
  • Implementation and importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting within the framework of legal requirements
  • Approaches to the effective implementation of CSR in order to make a valuable contribution to sustainability and social responsibility above and beyond the legal requirements
Study and thesis paper CSR Reporting
  • Motivation of the study
  • Experience in the implementation of CSR reporting
  • Summary: These are the issues that will need to be addressed
E-Booklet - Diversity, a real lever for top performance in a volatile world!
  • Sustainability, CSR, Diversity - What is it all about?
  • Can diversity have a business case?
  • How can diversity be classified? - a basic classification in HR work
  • A framework for leveraging the opportunities of diversity

Our experts for ESG

Get in touch with us through Xing or LinkedIn

Stephan Grunwald

Senior Partner

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Dr. Heiko Mauterer

Senior Partner

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