How natcap measures pollution for CSRD's ESRS E2

Measuring your pollution levels is the first step to reducing your impact on nature and mitigating environmental risks that could affect your business.

What is CSRD and ESRS E2?

The EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, introduced in January 2023, replaced the previous Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD).  A key component of CSRD is to strengthen requirements on disclosure of sustainability information by extending reporting obligations of environmental, social and governance-related data. 

Dedicated sustainability reporting standards are defined in CSRD by the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). ESRS E2 (one of the five environmental topical standards in ESRS) is dedicated to reporting of non-GHG pollution to air land and water. 

Lake Windermere in the Lake District, UK. Photo by Jacqueline O'Gara on Unsplash

How does ESRS E2 relate to existing pollution reporting?

ESRS E2 has made considerable effort to reduce the complexity and duplication of reporting by making reference to existing EU pollution reporting laws, standards and frameworks. 

This includes the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR), a public database reporting emissions from over 60,000 industrial sites across 65 economic activities ranging from aquaculture to waste disposal. E-PRTR is part of a global framework for reporting pollution and waste transfer. Over 50 countries have fully, or partially, adopted PRTR frameworks. 

What have natcap done and why does it add value?

Step one of reporting for CSRD is to prioritise: defining your interface with nature and the environment.

For ESRS E2 pollution, locating and prioritising the environmental impact of assets across a business or supply chain is no easy task. At natcap we have developed metrics, using PRTR data, to help you understand industrial emissions and highlight priority sites in your business or supply chain. 

Recognising that many supply chains are international, it is essential for prioritisation analyses assessing site pollution to have access to reported emissions from both EU and global industrial sites.

Natcap has integrated PRTR data resources from around the world into a single standardised format to facilitate this. As part of the database, design pollutant names, pollutant risk status and units of emissions were standardised to ensure emissions from any location are reported inline with ESRS E2 guidance. With standardised data for over 130,000 sites natcap are able to report emissions across national and international supply chains and identify sites of high risk, using the following criteria:

  • Site is emitting high volumes of pollutants. Through analysing the distribution of emissions between 2005 - 2020 natcap has created unique models able to rank individual site emissions. 
  • Site has reported emissions of pollutants on the EU REACH list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) or banned by the Stockholm or Rotterdam Conventions. 
  • Site is not using direct measurement to report emissions. 
  • Site is emitting pollutants to land and water is areas of high or very high water stress.

Why does this matter?

Knowledge of the environmental performance across your supply chain makes good business sense. Failing to include impacts of environmental factors in business planning will likely decrease the long-term viability of your business. Measuring pollution emissions to air, land and water is a critical first step to implementing effective management strategies to reduce your impact on nature and help mitigate the environmental risks affecting your business. 

Ready to get started?

If your company needs to assess its pollution levels to report to CSRD, get in touch today to see how we can support you across all your nature reporting needs.

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