If sets full speed towards new EU legislation

Erica Ulfgrim, Anna Damm and Gita Mitani Jaijee Foto: Robin Herzog

New legislation for sustainability reporting means increased standardisation and better opportunities for comparing the efforts of companies and industries. If welcomes the changes!

– We feel well-prepared, says Anna Damm, who is one of the driving forces behind If's sustainability reports. 

If has been working intensively with the EU’s new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) since the requirements were announced in July 2023. 

– I am pleased that, with the new sustainability reporting, it will be possible to compare apples with apples in the future, both across and within industries, says Anna Damm, who is a CSRD Project Manager at If Insurance, working with If’s sustainability reporting. 

If has used GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) for previous sustainability reports, which is a common, voluntary framework for preparing sustainability reports. GRI is largely the basis for the new CSRD reporting directive. 

– Based on that, we are well-prepared because we already collect and report a large part of the information. For us, the big difference is that a lot of what we previously reported voluntarily is now mandatory, says Anna. 

Gap analysis identifies focus areas 

One of the tools that If has used, after the publication of the new standards, is a gap analysis. This analysis has enabled If to identify the scope of the new requirements, which material is already included in If's sustainability reports, whether there are actual gaps, how large they are, and what is needed to fully meet the new requirements. 

– We applaud the transparency within the new directive. It will provide customers and the public with a better basis for comparison by using the same standards for sustainability reporting within the EU, says Anna.  

– There are still many unknown elements. But zooming out and looking at the new legislation from a broader perspective, my assessment is that it makes really good sense, and it is a wise move towards more standardised reporting. I believe that it will be a source of improvement and a competitive parameter in the future. 

Both new and familiar 

CSRD aligns with the familiar ESG dimensions: environmental, social and governance. Companies are required to disclose information that enables an understanding of the company’s impact on climate, environment, human rights, etc., and how the same dimensions, or lack thereof, will affect the company. 

The double materiality assessment is a central new feature. Whereas previous reports have only focused on sustainability materiality – meaning how a company affects the external environment (for example, greenhouse gas emission from buildings, vehicle fleet, investments, etc.) – there is now an added outside-in perspective, known as financial materiality. This means that companies must now also provide information on sustainability-related risks and opportunities that may affect them financially, such as how increased risks for natural hazards will affect their assets, revenues or costs.  

– We operate in a world that is marked by climate change and other environmental challenges.  With CSRD, there will be increased focus on both how companies can contribute to a more sustainable future and how they will be affected if the necessary changes do not occur, concludes Anna. 

CSRD legislation diagramme
If sees an opportunity for companies that fully embrace the CSRD legislation to strengthen their reputation and credibility by producing more transparent sustainability reports.


There are three categories of European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS): cross-cutting standards, topical standards, and sector-specific standards.  

Cross-cutting standards and topical standards are sector-agnostic, which means that they apply to all undertakings regardless of which sector or sectors the undertaking operates in.  

Topical standards cover a sustainability topic (Environmental, Social and Governance) and are structured into topics and sub-topics, and where necessary sub-sub-topics.  

Sector-specific standards are applicable to all undertakings within a sector. They address impacts, risks and opportunities that are likely to be material for all undertakings in a specific sector and that are not covered, or are not sufficiently covered, by topical standards. Sector-specific standards are multi-topical and cover the topics that are most relevant to the sector in question. Sector-specific standards achieve a high degree of comparability.