Double materiality: how will it work in practice?

Oct 15, 2021

In April 2021, the European Commission issued proposed changes to sustainability reporting requirements in the form of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The changes will be far-reaching and affect almost 50,000 large and listed businesses in Europe. The proposals aim to improve the quality and comparability of non-financial disclosures to support the Commission’s stated aim of directing more investment towards sustainable economic activities.

One of the elements of the CSRD is the requirement for companies to produce a double materiality analysis, in which companies will be asked to demonstrate an understanding not only of the impacts of ESG issues on their business performance, but also the impacts of the business on society and the environment. While guidance and standards on exactly what companies need to disclose has not yet been finalised, on Tuesday, 12th October we explored what we know so far. Our experienced consultants Rupali Patni and Katie Vrylandt shared an overview of how “double materiality” sits within wider regulatory developments and how Corporate Citizenship has begun to approach double materiality with our clients.

A special thanks to our guest panellists, Donato Calace of Datamaran, and Pratik Desai of the World Benchmarking Alliance, for a discussion on double materiality, what it means for companies and how it moves things on from existing approaches to materiality.


Guest speakers:

Dr. Donato Calace, Vice President of Innovation and Accounts, Datamaran, a software analytics platform that identifies and monitors external risks, including ESG, bringing a data-driven business process for external risk and materiality analysis.

Donato contributes to global innovation projects for the firm and heads the business development and account strategy. He speaks frequently at expert conferences world-wide. In 2019, he participated in the invite-only European Commission DG FISMA expert session on materiality (November 2019). He is a member of the EFRAG Task Force on reporting of non-financial risks and opportunities and linkage to the business model. He is also Co-Chair with Prof. Riccardo Stacchezzini of the working group on Operationalizing Materiality launched by the Organismo Italiano Business Reporting (OIBR).


Pratik Desai, Strategic Engagement Lead, World Benchmarking Alliance

Pratik leads strategic engagement efforts for the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), an independent institution working to incentivize corporate action and accountability on sustainability and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

At the WBA, Pratik develops outreach and engagement strategies in collaboration with a global, multi-stakeholder Alliance of over 260 organizations spanning financial institutions, civil society organizations, business and industry platforms, standards setters, multilateral agencies, and professional services firms. He also oversees policy and advocacy efforts across the organization, working to influence key legislative agendas and governance processes focused on responsible business, sustainable finance, and corporate governance at global, regional, and national levels.