Green Assurance

The way in which organizations account for their role in society is changing rapidly. The demand from stakeholders for information, both financial and non-financial, is increasing sharply. In 2022, society is reasonably skeptical about the reliability of the shared ‘green’ information. There are also too many examples of ‘greenwashing’, making good appearances with incorrect green numbers towards the public. In fact, ‘greenwashing’ is simply a form of social fraud.

More and more organizations are understanding this and are (voluntarily) accountable in a sustainability report, CO2 emission reports and other types of reports. It is crucial for credibility that the organizations can demonstrate that the information is reliable. New European regulations on sustainability information in annual reporting mean that large companies will have to have an assurance engagement performed in the near future for the mandatory sustainability information. This obligation will also have an impact on companies which do not fall directly under the new EU regulations, but are part of the chain that includes partners that must comply with the new obligations. In other words, green, reliable information is becoming a theme for all companies, large or small.


As Coney Minds, we have been following the development of Green Assurance for many years. There have been many audit and sustainability framework developments worldwide in the past ten to twenty years.

The most impressive and also the most authoritative framework is the Global Reporting Initiative. The Global Reporting initiative was developed to add ‘certainty’ to sustainability information. It is a misunderstanding that this standard is only for multinationals. We see that more and more SMEs want to contribute to a sustainable world.

Recent developments

Since 2018, certain large companies and groups are required to disclose non-financial and diversity information in their management reports based on the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). In doing so, they must pay attention to, among other things, the environment, social affairs and the fight against corruption and bribery.

In 2020, the AFM has expressed its wish for an international standard for non-financial information in reporting. The AFM is in favor of integrated reporting, in which all relevant financial and non-financial information about an organization is presented together. The AFM argues in favor of including non-financial information in a company’s management report and also imposing this obligation on large non-PIEs. This means that the development is becoming broader and broader.
The European Commission (hereinafter: EC) has a progressive action program on sustainability. One of the tools to lead Europe towards a sustainable economy is better transparency. That is why a European directive proposal was published in 2021 for further regulation of corporate sustainability reporting: the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive directive proposal.

Time Schedule CSRD

The European Council’s proposal, based on the review of the European Commission’s CSRD proposal, proposes a step-by-step implementation (Counseil de L’Union Européen 2022), starting from reporting year 2024 for the companies already covered by the NFRD ( European Commission 2014), followed by all large companies from reporting year 2025 and from reporting year 2026 all listed small and medium-sized enterprises.

The companies that will come under the CSRD must have an external assurance engagement performed for the mandatory sustainability information. The CSRD shows that the object of assurance is broader than just the mandatory sustainability information in the management report.

This concerns, for example, information about what percentage of the turnover, operational costs or investments is related to sustainable economic activities. With the latter, the relationship with the annual accounts audit becomes closer.

For the legally required sustainability information in the management report, the auditor must check whether it is in accordance with the CSRD, including the European standards for sustainability information.

Example: Reduce plastic consumption

A production company has formulated the goal of reducing plastic consumption by 80% in the next five years. The company has mapped out the consumption of plastic (in kilograms) for each step in the production process. This information is enriched with purchasing data for the plastic by means of an analysis of the purchasing process. The company works with three different plastic suppliers. A clear baseline measurement has been made.

We have created a data analysis solution to measure consumption for each step in the production process over the next five years. We make this consumption transparent and visualize the plastic flow. The client includes the plastic KPIs in a report of non-financial information. We tested the reliability of these KPIs through ongoing monitoring of the underlying source data.

In two clear steps

Our method


We start the dialogue

In dialogue with our clients, we experience that more and more SMEs are looking for answers to the following questions:

  • What relevant information about our sustainability goals do we want to share?
  • Which themes do we include in our reports?
  • How do we monitor the reliability and measurability of this information?

We are a sounding board

We see it as our challenge to turn this into a realistic story with our clients. We act as a sounding board for the design of relevant KPI reports and test the correctness of the KPIs and the underlying data.

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