Sdu and Empact make the CSRD more accessible for ESG-professionals

Sdu is a publisher that makes laws and regulations accessible and applicable to different target groups, including ESG professionals. At Sdu’s innovation department, a multidisciplinary team works on translating the CSRD into practical tools with smart solutions for professionals. They are supported in this by the Empact team in terms of content.

Interpreting laws and regulations for practical application

Leonoor de Kruif and Janine Heemskerk are the brains behind these products together with Chief Innovation manager Esther van Doesburg. What immediately stands out is their abundant energy and enthusiasm when it comes to the subject of ESG and therefore also the  CSRD which resonates with them tremendously. Janine even took the CSRD legal document on holiday with her. Whereas Janine, as a true beta, wants to know all the details, Leonoor’s strength lies in translating it into understandable language. She listens carefully to experts and clients. In this way, she makes a good match between clients’ needs and the core of the legislation.

“Sustainaibility will become the new currency.”

The team at Sdu is strong in theoretical knowledge, but what was still missing was the experience in practically applying the CSRD and guiding companies in that process. With Empact on board, that gap was filled. Janine: “The CSRD is still so new, everyone is learning at the same time.” There is a nice win-win to this collaboration, because on the one hand, Sdu can integrate the lessons Empact learns in practice in real time into their knowledge products, and on the other hand, Empact can make more of an impact because of Sdu’s reach to hundreds of companies.

Practice notes, reviews and training

Empact is closely involved in the development of several of Sdu’s products. For instance, 10 practice notes have now been published, such as: in-depth handouts on a variety of ESG topics, accompanied by one or two templates that allow readers to immediately translate them to their own situation. The practice notes now form a substantial volume and cover the following topics, among others:

  • CSRD action plan
  • ESG strategy
  • Operationalisation of ESG targets
  • ESG and SMEs
  • The value chain and the CSRD
  • Conducting a double materiality analysis

In addition, Empact conducts a review of the software used by Sdu and helps to improve information on European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) in Sdu’s knowledge base. In the short term, we will also start providing training on ESG: on behalf of Sdu, Empact will provide this to ESG professionals.

“Without Empact, the knowledge products and workflow
would not have been as good.”

Lessons from practice with wide reach

In terms of philosophy, Sdu and Empact are in the same game: making as much impact as possible themselves and enabling companies to do the same. So not just compliance, but rather strategic commitment to real sustainable change. The cooperation is extra powerful because there is a strong mutual click and everyone is brimming with ideas to make even more products that are even more relevant.

“Our market research indicates a huge need for interpretation and awareness of what sustainability means. That suits the phase we are all in”, says Leonoor. Meanwhile, Sdu, with the help of Empact and others, has developed a nice package for ESG professionals: a starter kit, intended for initial awareness, in-depth training courses and an extensive knowledge base for support on each topic.

Continuing to work together

And there is still plenty in store for a long-term collaboration. Leonoor: “As we move forward, new needs will arise among the various target groups, and for that we really need Empact. It is very nice that Empact is a reliable partner, they deliver on time and above expectations. They not only deliver what we have asked for, but also come with new suggestions to make better connections between the different products.” Empact’s input not only finds its way into Sdu’s knowledge products but, as mentioned, is also integrated into the software platform developed by Sdu. The ESG courses also use the models and templates developed by Empact. “Without Empact, the knowledge products and workflow would not have been as good.”

“It is very nice that Empact is a reliable partner, they deliver on time
and above expectations.”

Invest in knowledge and collaborations

When asked what their biggest insight is since the publication of the CSRD, Janine says she learned that the scope of the CSRD is so large that no one can have in-depth knowledge of all topics. “Each topic is its own specialism, so you really have to collaborate with different disciplines and experts. It’s nice to see that new collaborations emerge as a result.”

“Make a start, get educated and invest in knowledge.”

Janine says that every company eventually will have to deal with this, no matter how big or small you are. “Sooner rather than later, there are going to be questions from customers and suppliers about sustainability. If you don’t know the background to the question, you’re going to miss the boat. Sustainability will become the new currency.” So their advice is: “Make a start, get educated and invest in knowledge. Only when you immerse yourself in the subject matter will you see how broad and how deep it is.”

And the cooperation between Sdu and Empact? “That will hopefully continue for a very long time, because Empact takes our products and services to a high level.”

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