Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will demonstrate companies’ commitment to sustainability… Shannon Chamber workshop hears

The Antaris team, led by chief operating officer, Eugene Cush, pictured with Helen Downes, CEO, Shannon Downes.


With the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) now mandatory for companies with more than 500 employees, and with those with more than 250 employees coming into the net from January 2025, and listed SMEs from January 2026, demonstrating their commitment to social and environmental responsibility is moving centre stage in a company’s operations.

This was the clear message given to Shannon Chamber members when they attended a briefing on the requirements of CSRD given by Limerick based sustainability experts, Antaris, a company that is vastly experienced in helping companies assess their sustainability activities and attain their sustainability goals. 

CSRD requires large companies and listed companies to publish regular reports on the social and environmental risks they face, and on how their activities impact people and the environment. Its purpose is to help investors, civil society organisations, consumers and other stakeholders to evaluate the sustainability performance of companies, as part of the European Green Deal.

It holds significant importance for businesses in today’s global economy. By mandating enhanced transparency and disclosure of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information, the CSRD enables companies to better understand and manage their sustainability impacts. This directive provides a standardised framework for reporting on sustainability performance, facilitating comparability and accountability across industries and jurisdictions.

Compliance with the CSRD not only meets regulatory requirements but also enhances credibility and trust among stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, and regulators. Furthermore, CSRD reporting helps businesses identify areas for improvement, drive innovation, and seize opportunities for sustainable growth.

The workshop was organised by Shannon Chamber to equip its member companies with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex landscape of CSRD reporting effectively. Presenters included Antaris’ sustainability and strategy adviser, Geoff Dooley, and sustainability consultants, Bruce Harper and Aurora Leyton. They focused in on the background to CSRD reporting and how it links in with the European Green Deal through which the European Commission is seeking to make the EU’s climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Quoting Mary Robinson, who in 2015 described this generation as the in-between generation – the first generation to realise the impact of climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it, Geoff Dooley spoke about the need for transformational change in business where longer-term sustainability goals are obvious and results measured and transparent.

He said that the EU Green Deal is all-encompassing regulatory strategy, of which CSRD is a part. It is instigating a reporting cycle that is open, transparent, and very easily analysed so that it is relevant to people who are taking a risk-based view of an organisation, be they bankers, lenders, investors, or a multinational company reviewing and assessing its supply chain. CSRD reporting will force companies to stand over their sustainability practices and align their results with their sustainability strategies. The benefits of CSRD are that it will align across EU countries and introduce transparency as what companies are actually doing and achieving.

Outlining what is involved in CSRD reporting, Ms Leyton said that it incorporates a company’s sustainability policies, actions taken to deliver against targets, the metrics used to measure and report on the effectiveness of the delivery of sustainability-related policies, and the measurable, outcome-oriented goals that a company aims to achieve in relation to material impacts, risks or opportunities.

“CSRD sustainability reports will have to be included in the management/directors’ report and digitally tagged. They must be published withing twelve months of the balance sheet date and consider the company’s own operations, its value chain, including its products and services, business relationships and supply chain. Failure to comply will result in sanctions, firstly a public statement about the breach, secondly a judicial order to change the conduct and, thirdly, financial sanctions,” she added.

Speaking after the event, Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes said: ”The CSRD process will be daunting for many companies as it will put the spotlight on what they are doing to reduce their carbon emissions. Nevertheless, it is a great opportunity for them to stand out in their sectors, particularly with regard to attaining new business. For the larger company, it will introduce efficiencies in supplier sourcing as they will be able to work with like-minded businesses whose sustainability strategies match theirs.

“This workshop was delivered via our Mid-West Sustainable Network in its quest to make the Shannon region an exemplar region in sustainability practice. We will continue to roll out initiatives that will enable our members to attain their carbon emission targets.”