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PwC Survey: 63% of companies confident they will be ready for CSRD, but many don't know how

Almost two-thirds (63%) of companies say they are very or extremely confident that they will be ready to report under the EU’s new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), according to PwC’s inaugural 2024 Global CSRD Survey.

The global survey, of more than 500 senior executives and business professionals, including finance, sustainability and risk leaders, found that the EU directive, which will impact about 50,000 companies, is having a global impact.

More than three-quarters (79%) of companies headquartered outside the EU and 74% headquartered within the EU believe CSRD is or will lead to company leadership considering sustainability in decision making to a greater extent. Of respondents from companies headquartered in 38 countries and territories, 75% already plan to report at a consolidated group level, including operations outside the EU.

While the survey results indicate confidence around sustainability reporting, survey respondents cite obstacles to implementation. The single biggest concern listed is data availability and quality (59%).

Only one-fifth of companies due to report in their 2025 financial year have validated the availability and completeness of data for their disclosures. Additionally, less than 60% of all respondents have involved their technology function, although most respondents plan to do so, and most companies are not using specialist tools or technology. Spreadsheets are the most commonly used tool (74%), compared with 26% using centralised sustainability data storage (e.g., a data lake) and 20% using AI, although more have plans to use these tools in the future.

Implementation obstacles beyond data persist

Despite high levels of confidence, especially for companies due to report in their 2025 financial year (72%), less than half of these companies have completed key activities, such as confirmation of reporting options (39%), double materiality assessment (38%), and validation of availability of data (20%). Nonetheless, companies that have completed early-stage activities are more likely to be confident in meeting the reporting requirements.

While respondents report high confidence on topics that are generally included in existing disclosures such as workforce (75%), business conduct (75%), and climate change (60%), they are far less confident in their ability to meet reporting requirements on less familiar topics such as biodiversity (35%), pollution (43%), and workers in the value chain (44%).

Sustainability is rising in the leadership agenda

The survey finds 76% believe CSRD has or will lead to company leadership considering sustainability in decision making, including 59% who say sustainability is already being considered to a greater extent due to CSRD, and 17% who say it will be considered.

Companies expect a wide range of business benefits to flow from CSRD. Namely, more than half (51%) expect benefits to a large or very large extent to include better environmental performance, 49% expect improved engagement with stakeholders, and 48% better risk mitigation.

Almost one-third believe CSRD benefits revenue growth (28%) or cost savings (26%) to a large extent. The expectation of financial benefits is higher for companies closer to their reporting deadline, with 38% of companies due to report in FY 2025 expecting to benefit to a large extent through revenue growth and 34% through cost savings.

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