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Criteria for Good Sustainability Reporting

November 15, 2022

News from the AGN EMEA Accounting, Auditing & Education Committee (AAEC)

A good sustainability report offers companies many advantages; It provides information to stakeholders and ensures transparency. It serves as a central instrument for controlling all processes in sustainability management. It makes employees more aware of the issue of sustainability.

What makes a sound report?

The Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the entrepreneurial initiative future e.V. have developed a catalogue of general evaluation criteria. Below is a summary of the characteristics according to which all reports are evaluated:


Company profile:

  • Background information on the company
  • Relevant changes compared with the previous year
  • Presentation of ownership structure
  • Company shareholdings

Vision, strategy and management:

  • Overview of internal and external stakeholder involvement
  • Materiality analysis
  • Corporate strategy
  • Compliance and anti-corruption

Goals and program:

  • Quantified report on sustainability-related objectives with timelines

Employee interests:

  • Overview of guidelines, norms and standards on human and employee rights
  • Remuneration policy
  • Working time regulations
  • Training
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Promotion of employee satisfaction

Ecological aspects of production:

  • Energy management and climate protection goals
  • Corporate production processes
  • Raw materials and materials
  • Waste and water management
  • Logistics concept

Product responsibility:

  • Impact of the product life cycle on sustainability
  • Customer information and consumer protection

Supply chain responsibility:

  • Identifying impacts and development potentials of the supply chain

Social environment/social responsibility:

  • Information on the company’s regional responsibility
  • Lobbying
  • Political commitment



  • Write an open report on key sustainability issues
  • Link it to the business strategy
  • Publish external assessments and statements
  • Provide comparable data
  • Inset a management statement

Reporting on material topics:

  • No omission of material topics
  • Justify if an area gets special focus

Communicative quality:

  • High quality of structure, text and design of the report
  • Online reports with good navigation and menu navigation
  • Reference to additional information and documents, if necessary

Should you ever lose track of the big picture, my colleagues and I from the AGN EMEA Accounting, Auditing & Education Committee (AAEC) will be happy to help and guide you safely through the IFRS and CSR jungle. As a member of AGN International, you can use the AGN AAEC Helpline at any time or contact me by email at or by mobile phone at +49 173 8710322.

Carsten Ernst
Managing Partner
Wirtschafts Treuhand Group
Stuttgart, Germany
– Expert in financial (IFRS) and sustainability (ESRS and GRI) reporting

– Audit of financial and sustainability reports in accordance with ISAs

– Member of the following AGN bodies:
– EMEA Board of Directors (Chairman)
– EMEA AAEC Accounting, Auditing and Education Committee (Member)