Validation of sustainability reports according to GRI and DNK

Organisations are placing more and more emphasis on presenting their environmental and social corporate commitment to the public. The motivation arises on the one hand directly from the reporting obligation of the CSR-RUG for listed companies or indirectly for small and medium-sized enterprises as part of the supply chain of large companies.

For whom is a validation of the sustainability report relevant?

The current further development of the "Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive" (CSRD) shows that the obligation for sustainability reporting will be significantly extended from 2024. The scope of application will be extended to all corporations and limited partnerships that are large or capital market oriented in the accounting sense. (newsletter)

What is the difference between DNK and GRI?

Many international companies follow the globally recognized standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) when preparing their sustainability report.

However, the German Sustainability Code (DNK)
is somewhat more compact. With regard to the recognition of the system, this is particularly suitable for entry-level reporting or for companies that mainly operate on the German market.

Both systems meet the requirements of the reporting obligation on non-financial indicators (Non-Financial Reporting Directive "NFRD") in Germany and the EU respectively.

What are the advantages of having your sustainability report audited by GUTcert?

The validation or external review of sustainability reports is voluntary. However, an external view helps to confirm the selected topics and the plausibility of the data, facts and figures. In addition, our auditors always take the perspective of the potential readers of your report, so that requirements within the framework of the Taxonomy Regulation and the so-called "state of the art" can always be included in the audit.

GUTcert certifies all current ISO management systems - so links between different topics and the resulting synergies for sustainability reporting are a matter of course for our auditors.
We from the sustainability team would like to thank you very much for your support and goal-oriented persistence. And if I may say so: Without the great experience of our auditor, the report would not have turned out so well!

Arno Elz (Sonepar Deutschland GmbH)

How does a validation of your sustainability report work?

Whether validation according to GRI or DNK, the review always consists of the inspection of the raw version of the report, the detailed planning and an assessment.

Within the framework of an individually tailored workshop, we offer you the opportunity - gladly at your premises or online as a web meeting - to check which data are already available and which still need to be collected in order to achieve conformity of the sustainability report with the GRI or DNK standards.

Within the scope of a validation, the inclusion of stakeholders is checked and it is evaluated how the essential aspects for corporate sustainable development have been defined. This is because these topics serve as the basis for defining meaningful sustainability-relevant goals and measures.
Furthermore, the data collection and the corresponding key figures are checked for plausibility on a sample basis. The experts then make recommendations for the further development of sustainable performance.

Accompanying or retrospective validation?

You determine the timing and exact procedure of your validation together with your auditor. We are happy to plan an accompanying validation together with you and your specialist departments analogous to the progress of the individual topics and report areas. In this way, the audit can usually be completed more quickly after the report has been finalised.

The test certificate subsequently issued by GUTcert is printed in your sustainability report and confirms the external validation of the data contained therein.

We have already successfully validated various sustainability reports according to GRI SRS (e.g. for the SARIA Group, Sonepar Germany, Lebensbaum, Grüner Punkt or Denios) and verified on the basis of the German Sustainability Code DNK (badenova Sustainability Report and badenova DNK Declaration).

What does a validation of your sustainability report cost?

We calculate the cost of reviewing your sustainability report for your organisation depending on the size of the company, the range and scope of its impact (national or international) and your specific wishes with regard to the scope of your report.
We would be happy to create an individual offer for you. Just give us a call or send us an e-mail.