With the 2019 Green Deal, Europe is fully embracing the transition to a sustainable economy. Whereas the old economy focused primarily on the financial performance of companies, the new economy is about commitment in terms of sustainability, including climate change, human rights and diversity. International treaties and new laws and legislation ensure that this commitment is becoming increasingly less non-committal.

As one of the key logistics hubs for import and export in Europe, the Netherlands plays a crucial role in the formidable sustainability task Europe has committed itself to with the Green Deal. The purpose of the Green Deal is to impose obligations, step by step, on companies to focus on people, the environment and society: ESG. The abbreviation stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. Part of this programme is the anticipated introduction of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) in 2023, which represents an important next step in reporting ESG efforts. The number of companies in the Netherlands that must meet these new reporting requirements will rise rapidly under the CSRD. Apart from introducing an obligation to list the corporate activities, the new EU directive requires businesses to anchor sustainable targets into their strategy.

In this research report, KPMG outlines the status of the new ESG policy for businesses and the extent to which businesses in the Netherlands are ready for the new legislation. As part of our research, research company Motivaction questioned more than 250 financial executives and policymakers. KPMG also examined the financial statements of the largest 25 listed companies and the largest 25 non-listed companies in the Netherlands.

This report provides an insight into the extent to which companies value ESG topics, and whether they have already implemented targets, strategy, systems and processes for sustainable operations. In addition, companies were questioned about their familiarity with CSRD, its expected impact and the risks and opportunities they see as a consequence of the implementation of this new EU directive.

This report therefore provides a picture of the broader ESG task companies in the Netherlands are facing. The report’s intention is to increase awareness of the task that lies ahead


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