On Wednesday, 6 December 2023, we held our third session of the series around understanding the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), this time focusing on the data angle and how technology solutions can aid and accelerate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting. 

The moderator, Peter Van den Spiegel, Partner and Head of Lighthouse at KPMG in Belgium, set the scene by briefly summarizing the previous sessions around data gap analysis, ESG strategy and operating models, and the CSRD transformation roadmap. He then went on to explain the importance of data management and ensuring that everyone within an organization is onboard and involved. In an ideal scenario, an organization would simply analyze their current state of affairs and perform a gap analysis, design an action plan and road map, and then implement and report. However, challenges arise given the plethora of technologies and tools available, the tight deadlines, and trying to comply with stringent requirements. With a constantly evolving IT landscape, the key lies in finding the right balance between where you are and what you have, and where you want to go and what you need on your journey. And businesses should keep an open mind and approach the CSRD requirements as more than just a compliance exercise, but as a means to generate value and gain a competitive edge.

De-tangling the IT Challenge

Stephanie Porteman, Partner and Head of Connected Enterprise, explained how as a result of technology landscapes within organizations becoming more complex over time, businesses are often faced with multiple choices and combinations of technologies and vast amounts of data to process and report on. Being able to address these challenges depends on how agile and multidisciplinary an organization is, and their ability to identify the non-negotiables. Once the IT department have been clearly briefed – and hopefully have a visionary architect on board who knows where to go and how to get there – the next step is not being afraid to take bold decisions about what to report on to build towards a sound, solid, and sustainable report.

CFO as an ESG Business Partner

Rob Steensels, Partner and Head of CFO Advisory, shared how the role of the CFO has transformed into a key ESG business partner that is frequently involved in the ESG reporting process, but that often struggles with how to embed ESG data into reporting. What makes matters even more complicated is that many companies issue their ESG reporting only after their financial reporting has been published. Businesses that want to succeed, must recognize the overlap between financial reporting and ESG reporting. In fact, 87% of leaders in ESG reporting have achieved mid to full integration of their ESG data systems with their financial reporting systems. CFOs have the necessary skills and experience to take on the role of ESG business partner, and organizations shouldn’t forget to tap into that resource!


Reach out to our sustainability and technology experts. KPMG and our Alliance partners are here to help you prepare for CSRD.

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