With so many Sustainability Acronyms it can be hard to make sense of all the jargon. So, here’s an explainer of the different acronyms, what they are, and what they could mean for your business.

A lot of these acronyms relate to sustainability reporting. Sustainability reporting is the disclosure of a company’s efforts and progress towards meeting its environmental, social, and governance goals.

Sustainability Legislation – CSRD, NFRD, ESRS

CSRD – Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

The CSRD is the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. It outlines which companies have to report on their sustainability annually. It is a part of the European Green Deal, which is the set of objectives and directives meant to lead Europe to net zero emissions by 2050.

NFRD – Non-Financial Reporting Directive

The Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) preceded the CSRD as the reporting requirements for EU organisations. The NFRD required fewer companies to report and also had fewer reporting requirements for those companies.

ESRS – European Sustainability Reporting Standards

The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) define what the companies that fall under the CSRD have to report. The ESRS meets requirements set out by the GRI. The recent updates to the CSRD and ESRS now require more details in the sustainability reports issued by the companies outlined by the CSRD, namely more information on the supply chain.

Global Guideline – GRI, SDG

GRI – Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an international standards organisation that sets global standards for sustainability reporting. GRI standards cover environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability. The GRI standards were used in the development of the ESRS.

SDG – Sustainable Development Goal

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 objectives defined by the United Nations to help promote economic, social, and environmental sustainability around the world. SDGs are not legal requirements, but they do influence legislation and business practices globally.

Sustainability Business Strategies – CSR, ESG

CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a management strategy that incorporates social and environmental factors into business decisions. CSR is a means to achieve the “triple bottom line” (TBL)-economic, environmental, and social-goals. CSR strategy is another way for an organisation to incorporate sustainability into its business decisions.

ESG – Environmental, Social, Governance

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance. Similar to the triple bottom line, these are three pillars of sustainable business practices. Considering ESG when making business decisions can be a way to implement a CSR approach. Some examples of each ESG category are:

  • Environmental: carbon footprint, water use, air and ground pollution, waste management
  • Social: labour practices, fair wages, employee development
  • Governance: executive board or management diversity, shareholder rights

Sustainability Reporting – LCA, EPD

LCA – Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is also a document that details the environmental impact of a product. Conducting an LCA requires looking at the entire life cycle of a product. LCAs can be used for sustainability reporting, as required by the CSRD. LCAs can cover a wide range of environmental impacts, from carbon footprint to resource use.

EPD – Environmental Product Declaration

An Environmental Product Declaration is also a document that details the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle. A company can release multiple environmental product declarations, one for each product. EPDs summarise the findings of an LCA.

Sustainability Acronyms Summary

Our Sustainability Acronyms list covers some of the most commonly used acronyms in the sustainability domain.

There are, of course, many more acronyms and terms related to sustainability, but these are the ones to take note of and will give you a good starting point.

CGBC Sustainability Acronyms

CG Business Consulting’s Sustainability Division is fully equipped to help you meet sustainability goals.

Drop us a line. One of the team will be more than happy to have a chat with you about any of these sustainability acronyms and their relevance to your business.

Whatever your sustainability goals, CGBC can deliver a bespoke solution for you to gain competitive advantage.

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