ESG reporting: Everything you need to know in 2024

Sander Palm



In this article, we will explore ESG, its importance and how to do ESG reporting.

At a time when global warming and environmental challenges are key issues, companies and investors are paying increasing attention to sustainability. One of the key terms often mentioned in this context is ESG. But what does this acronym actually stand for and why has it become so important? In this article, we'll explore ESG, its importance and how it affects both companies and society as a whole.

What is ESG?

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. These three factors form the pillars of assessing a company's sustainability and responsibility.

1. Environmental: This area focuses on how a company manages and impacts the environment. It includes issues such as climate change, energy efficiency, pollution, resource consumption and waste management. The company's impact on nature and the health of the planet are key elements of the environmental dimension of ESG.

2. Social: The social factor encompasses how a company manages its relationships with its employees, customers, suppliers and society at large. It includes elements such as diversity and inclusion, working conditions, human rights, health and safety, and social responsibility.

3. Governance: This aspect focuses on the company's governance structure, ethics and integrity. It includes issues of corporate governance, transparency, accountability and compliance with laws and regulations.

ESG and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

A crucial link between ESG and sustainability is the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals are a universal call to action to address some of the world's most pressing challenges, including climate change, inequality, poverty and environmental degradation. Companies that integrate ESG principles into their business strategy contribute to the achievement of these goals.

ESG and climate accounting

An important part of ESG is the reporting of the company's impact on the environment and society. This is done through a climate report that summarizes and quantifies the company's carbon emissions, water consumption, resource consumption and other environmental impacts. The carbon footprint allows stakeholders to assess the company's performance and impact on the planet.

Climate accounting for businesses

The importance of ESG for businesses

Integrating ESG into a company's strategy and operations has a number of benefits. First and foremost, it can help reduce risk. Companies that proactively address environmental and social issues are better equipped to deal with future challenges, such as changes in legislation and regulations. In addition, a strong ESG performance can attract investors and secure funding for sustainable projects.

Furthermore, focusing on ESG can also be a source of innovation. Companies seeking to improve their environmental and social performance are often forced to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions. This can lead to product and process improvements that not only benefit the company, but also society as a whole.

Implementing ESG in companies

For ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles to have a meaningful impact on a company's sustainability and accountability, it is crucial to integrate them deeply into the company's culture and strategy. This implementation process can involve several crucial steps:

1. Identification of responsible parties

Companies should appoint people responsible for ESG initiatives. These individuals or teams will be responsible for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of ESG principles. Their role will be to ensure that ESG objectives are integrated into all aspects of company operations.

2. Establishing measurable goals

It's important to define concrete and measurable goals within each ESG area. These goals can include reducing carbon emissions, improving employee well-being and workforce diversity, or establishing robust governance structures.

3. implementation of ESG policies and practices

Companies must formulate and implement ESG policies that set out the specific guidelines and procedures to meet the set goals. These policies can range from sustainable sourcing guidelines to procedures to promote diversity and inclusion.

4. Integration in business decisions

ESG should be incorporated into all aspects of the company's decision-making process. This can include assessing ESG risks and opportunities in investment decisions, product development and supplier assessment.

5. Education and awareness

To ensure successful implementation, it is crucial to educate and create awareness among employees about the importance of ESG and how to integrate it into their daily work. This can include training programs, workshops and information campaigns.

Reporting of ESG metrics

ESG metrics reporting is essential to demonstrate the company's performance and progress in environmental, social and governance areas. This can be done through the following steps:

1. Data collection

The company needs to collect relevant data to quantify its ESG performance. This can include information on energy consumption, waste management, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion and much more.

"With Climaider you can retrieve Environmental data automatically through an integration with your financial system"

2. Standards and reporting frameworks

There are several standards and frameworks for reporting ESG metrics, including the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB ) and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The company should choose the relevant framework that best suits its business model and sector.

Feel free to contact us if you need help selecting the right reporting framework for your business.

3. reporting frequency

The company needs to determine how often it will report its ESG performance. This could be annually, quarterly or even monthly, depending on the company's needs and stakeholder expectations.

4. Publication

The ESG report should be accessible to both internal and external stakeholders. This can be done through the company website, annual reports or dedicated ESG reports.

5. Communication and engagement

The company should actively communicate its ESG performance and progress to stakeholders. This can include investors, employees, customers and local communities. It's also important to incorporate stakeholder feedback and use it to improve the company's ESG initiatives.

By following these steps and prioritizing ESG principles, companies can not only improve their sustainability and accountability, but also create value for society and the environment as a whole. Implementing ESG is an investment in a more sustainable future and a stronger, more viable business.

Example of how to calculate ESG metrics

Below you can see an example of how ESG data can be reported in an annual ESG report. How and which ESG data to report depends on the company's size, industry and objectives. If your company is covered by CSRD, it must follow the ESRS standard. The example below is based on Climate Compass' 21 ESG key figures and is particularly relevant for SMEs, for example.


ESG provides a crucial framework for assessing a company's sustainability and accountability. By focusing on Environmental, Social and Governance factors, companies can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals while strengthening their own competitiveness and innovation.

By implementing ESG principles into their corporate culture and strategy, companies can ensure a positive impact on both society and the environment, while creating long-term value for their stakeholders. ESG is not just a concept, but a crucial guide towards a more sustainable future for all.