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  • Writer's pictureMicha Veen

The Transition Towards Digitised ESG Reporting: A Global Perspective

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting has become a critical aspect of corporate transparency and accountability. As stakeholders demand more detailed and reliable ESG data, countries around the world are transitioning towards digitised reporting requirements. This article focusses on some of the key countries that Unique Excellence's ESG Custodian is servicing. We explore the developments in ESG reporting in the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), Australia (AU), and New Zealand (NZ), highlighting the move towards the requirement for businesses to adopt intuitive, compliance and effective digital solutions.

Using ESG Custodian to meet the continuously evolving digitised sustainability reporting requirements
ESG Digitisation through ESG Custodian

The European Union

The European Union has been a front-runner in ESG reporting. The Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), introduced in 2014, set the groundwork for mandatory ESG disclosures. However, the EU is now moving towards a more comprehensive and digitised framework with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The CSRD aims to enhance and standardise ESG reporting across the region, incorporating the use of the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF), a digital tagging system that facilitates machine-readable financial and non-financial information .

The United Kingdom

In the UK, the transition to digital ESG reporting is also gaining momentum. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have been pivotal in this shift. The UK has mandated the use of the Inline XBRL (iXBRL) format for financial reporting, which is now extending to ESG data. This digital format ensures that ESG reports are not only standardised but also easily accessible and comparable, aligning with the broader trend towards increased transparency and accountability .

The United States

The United States has historically lagged behind the EU in terms of mandatory ESG reporting, but significant changes are underway. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is proposing rules that would require listed companies to include climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports. These disclosures must be provided in a digitally tagged format, leveraging Inline XBRL to enhance data comparability and usability. This move represents a significant step towards digitised ESG reporting in the US. A date hasn't been set, but as the UE has introduced ESEF, the US is not far behind.


Australia is also embracing digital ESG reporting. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been encouraging companies to adopt digital reporting practices. The Australian government is exploring the introduction of mandatory climate-related financial disclosures in alignment with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. These disclosures are expected to be digitised, facilitating better data integration and analysis .

New Zealand

In New Zealand, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has been active in promoting ESG reporting. The country is set to implement mandatory climate-related disclosures for large financial institutions and listed companies by 2023, following the TCFD framework. These disclosures will be required to be in a digital format, allowing for greater transparency and ease of data use. This digitization effort underscores New Zealand's commitment to sustainable finance and corporate accountability .

What Next?

The transition towards digitized ESG reporting is a global trend driven by the need for greater transparency, comparability, and reliability of ESG data. The EU, UK, US, Australia, and New Zealand are all taking significant steps towards mandatory digital reporting requirements, leveraging technologies such as Inline XBRL and digital tagging systems. These advancements not only facilitate better stakeholder engagement but also support the broader goals of sustainable development and corporate responsibility.

One notable solution supporting this digital transition is ESG Custodian. This is a globally compliant, intuitive, and financially-supported ESG solution that streamlines the reporting process. It offers comprehensive tools for data collection, analysis, and reporting, ensuring that companies can meet their regulatory requirements efficiently. By providing a centralised platform for ESG data, ESG Custodian enhances transparency and accuracy, making it easier for companies to navigate the complex landscape of ESG reporting.

As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, companies must stay abreast of these changes and invest in the necessary digital infrastructure to meet the emerging requirements. The shift towards digitised ESG reporting represents a pivotal moment in the journey towards a more sustainable and accountable business world. References:

  1. European Commission. "Corporate sustainability reporting." Available at:

  2. Financial Reporting Council. "The Future of Corporate Reporting." Available at:

  3. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Proposed Rule: The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors." Available at:

  4. Australian Securities and Investments Commission. "Climate risk disclosure by Australia's listed companies." Available at:

  5. Financial Markets Authority. "Climate-related disclosures." Available at:

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