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In brief

The EU has politically agreed on the adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), and will likely adopt it before the end of 2022. The CSRD will overhaul the current sustainability reporting landscape for all multinational companies with significant activities in the EU, including those headquartered outside the EU. The reporting obligations of the CSRD will progressively come into force between 2024 and 2028.

Key takeaways

Although the reporting obligations of the CSRD will not be immediately applicable, given the breadth of the reporting requirements, all multinational companies with significant activities in the EU should start planning now as companies will be required to report qualitative and quantitative information across a range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. As a first step, companies should determine to what extent they will be subject to the requirements of the CSRD. This will then enable them to prepare an optimal reporting strategy, ensuring compliance with these new obligations. Other considerations include ensuring that companies have clear baseline data against which they can monitor progress, that they have adequate systems put in place to measure the necessary data and that there are appropriate resources and a robust governance framework in place to enable meaningful reporting across the areas and geographies that may be required. Since the CSRD is part of a wave of new EU legislative initiatives transforming the ESG sphere from a mainly voluntary framework to compulsory requirements, companies should strive to adopt a holistic approach to compliance with EU ESG legislation, including but not limited to the CSRD, as this will be significantly more efficient and impactful, helping them achieve greater business sustainability and lowering compliance risks in a cost-effective way.

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Fiona Carlin is the head of the EU Competition & Regulatory Affairs practice in Brussels. She is the former Chief Executive of much of Baker McKenzie’s EMEA Region and the former Chair of the Firm’s Global Competition and Antitrust Law Practice comprising more than 320 lawyers in over 40 countries. She has remained an active practitioner throughout her various leadership roles with a particular focus on regulated industries.
Fiona is also the Chair of the European Advisory Board of Catalyst, a leading non-profit organisation dedicated to expanding opportunities for women and business. She was a founding and long-standing member of Baker McKenzie's Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is dedicated to creating an inclusive high performance culture where the talent of our lawyers and business professionals can flourish.
Fiona has been listed in "The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers" since 2009, and is among Global Competition Review's Top 100 Women in Antitrust. Chambers quotes clients as citing her "legal and pragmatic advice" and describing her as "globally minded".


Jo Hewitt is a partner in the Corporate Department in Baker McKenzie's London office. Jo has a particular focus on advising multinational groups on the structuring, implementation and management of complex corporate reorganisation projects including post-acquisition integrations, holding company restructurings and group rationalisations. She is part of a dedicated team in London focused on international reorganisations and business transformation projects.


Eva-Maria is a partner in our Austrian corporate / M&A group and a member of our global sustainability practice. She acts as global lead sustainability partner for our financial institutions industry group, heads Baker McKenzie's capital markets practice in Austria and is a member of our EMEA steering committee for capital markets. Eva-Maria is a dual-qualified lawyer, admitted to practice in Austria and New York. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie's Vienna office in 2008, Eva-Maria worked in the New York, Paris and Frankfurt offices of a well-known US law firm.


William-James Kettlewell is a senior associate in the EU Competition and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group of the Brussels’s office.

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