Verification of Sustainability Reports

Verification of Sustainability Reports

In March 2018, the CSR Directive Implementation Act officially came into effect retroactively with effect from 01/01/2017. The standard requires certain large, publicly traded organisations and public-interest entities to disclose non-financial information.

As a result of the directive, the organisations concerned should develop a long-term strategy for the continuous improvement of their sustainability performance. This is generally done by publishing non-financial information in the CSR report. This report informs shareholders and stakeholders primarily about management strategy by documenting the risks and consequences of ecological, social and employee-relevant aspects. In addition, a CSR report comprises information on the corporate views with regard to corruption and bribery. The directive does not explicitly require the non-financial report to be verified. However, for transparent and authentic reporting, testing by external TÜV NORD CERT specialists offers significant advantages.

Benefits of sustainability reports

Communication of non-financial information is becoming increasingly important in the field of corporate communications. Stakeholders such as investors, companies, politicians and also critical consumers demand transparency that goes beyond the merely financial. External verification by experts from TÜV NORD CERT not only guarantees that you meet all the requirements of the EU directive on the disclosure of non-financial information, but also offers clear additional benefits looking towards the future.

Internal benefits:

  • Corporate strategy is designed for sustainable growth in the long term

  • Our auditors evaluate strategies and objectives against existing systems

  • Strengths and weaknesses of data collection and reporting are formulated and potentials for improved efficiency revealed

  • The audit time required to verify sustainability reporting is significantly reduced


External benefits:

  • Greater transparency based on sustainability reports

  • Increased credibility vis-à-vis shareholders and stakeholders

  • Verified sustainable management activities unlock and secure long-term business relationships and mark you out as a sustainable company.


In the area of corporate communications, non-financial information becomes ever more important. Stakeholder groups such as investors, corporations, policy-makers or critical consumers demand transparent information about the business activities of organisations that go beyond the purely financial performance indicators. An external verification by specialists from TÜV NORD CERT not only guarantees the fulfilment of all requirements of the EU Directive on the disclosure of non-financial information, but also offers comprehensible, future-relevant advantages.

Advantages - internal

In the long term, your corporate strategy is designed for sustainable growth. Our auditors use existing systems (e.g. management systems) to assess whether strategy and targets are in line with the identified options for action. In this connection, strengths and weaknesses of data collection and reporting are formulated and potentials for increasing efficiency are revealed. At the same time, the audit effort for the verification of sustainability reporting can be significantly reduced.

Advantages - external

CSR and sustainability reports increase the transparency of reporting and increase the credibility towards shareholders and stakeholders. The verified activities for sustainable business open up or secure long-term business relationships for you and distinguish you as a future-oriented company.

FAQs to sustainability Reports

For whom is the verification of interest?

EU-wide we assume that there are currently approx. 6000 companies directly affected by the CSR Directive. Primarily, this includes large publicly traded companies. But even medium-sized companies that are involved indirectly (e.g. via the supply chain of these larger companies) can benefit from CSR / sustainability reports. In general, this applies to all organisations that want to distinguish themselves and stand out from the competition.

What are the prerequisites for verification of sustainability Reports?

Organisations affected by the EU Directive have to explain various aspects of their business performance, operating results, the situation of the corporation as well as the impact of all activities. Essentially this includes the following points:

  • Summary explanation of the business model
  • Description of the concepts pursued by the company, including the due diligence processes applied.
  • Results of these concepts (“management approaches”)
  • Significant risks resulting from such business activity as well as their handling
  • The most important non-financial performance indicators (e.g. classic GRI or EFFAS indicators)
  • References to contributions included in the situation report and additional explanations

Obviously, these points also provide a guideline to reporting organisations that are not directly affected by the EU Directive, yet want to issue a holistic performance report.

Existing products / certificates might be eligible as evidence in the sustainability report.


Our know-how for your success

TÜV NORD CERT is an internationally recognised and reliable partner for testing and certification services. Our experts and auditors have in-depth knowledge and are always permanently employed by TÜV NORD. This guarantees independence and neutrality as well as continuity in the support of our customers. The advantage for you is obvious: our auditors accompany and support the development of your company and give you objective feedback.

We are looking forward to your inquiry