Navigating the Next Wave of ESG Reporting: Trends to Watch in 2024

February 28, 2024by Team IRIS CARBON0


As we move forward into the year 2024, the increasing demands from investors, regulatory authorities, and the general public are driving firms to implement environmental, social, and governance processes that are more open, standardized, and impactful. The primary focus of this evolution is not just the control of risks, but also the identification of chances for growth that is sustainable. To put this into perspective, it is essential for companies who want to be at the forefront of sustainability and corporate responsibility to remain current with the most recent developments.  


The Rise of Standardization in ESG Reporting

One of the most significant trends is the movement toward the standardization of ESG reporting. For years, the lack of uniformity in ESG reporting standards has been a major challenge for investors and stakeholders looking to compare and assess the sustainability performance of companies. However, 2024 is witnessing a paradigm shift with the emergence of global ESG reporting standards. 

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) are at the forefront of this change, working towards harmonizing ESG reporting criteria. This standardization is expected to enhance the transparency, comparability, and reliability of ESG data, enabling stakeholders to make more informed decisions. Companies will need to adapt to these evolving standards, integrating them into their reporting processes to ensure compliance and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. 

Technology and Data Analytics in ESG Reporting 

Technological advancements are playing a pivotal role in shaping the next wave of ESG reporting. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and big data analytics is revolutionizing how companies collect, analyze, and report ESG data. These technologies offer the potential for real-time ESG monitoring and reporting, providing a more accurate and timely insight into a company’s sustainability performance. 

Moreover, the use of AI and analytics can help companies identify patterns and insights from large ESG datasets, enabling them to make data-driven decisions to improve their sustainability performance. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, offers a transparent and secure platform for recording and verifying ESG claims, reducing the risk of greenwashing and enhancing stakeholder trust. 

The Importance of Social and Governance Factors 

While environmental factors have traditionally dominated ESG reporting, social and governance aspects are gaining prominence. The global pandemic and social justice movements of the past years have underscored the importance of social responsibility and corporate governance in driving sustainable growth. 

In 2024, companies are focusing more on their social impact, including employee well-being, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement. Governance factors such as board diversity, executive pay, and corporate ethics are also under increased scrutiny. Reporting on these aspects is becoming more detailed and integrated into overall ESG reporting, reflecting their growing importance to investors and other stakeholders. 

Regulatory Developments and Compliance 

The regulatory landscape for ESG reporting is becoming more stringent and complex, with numerous countries and regions introducing new regulations and guidelines. The European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) are leading the way, setting high standards for ESG disclosure. 

Companies operating globally need to navigate this complex regulatory environment, ensuring compliance across different jurisdictions. This trend towards increased regulation is pushing companies to invest in ESG reporting capabilities and to view compliance not just as a legal requirement but as an opportunity to strengthen their sustainability credentials and competitive advantage. 

The landscape of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria is not just a fleeting trend but a fundamental shift in how businesses across the globe, including Australia, operate and strategize for the future. As we move into 2024, this shift towards sustainability, accountability, and ethical practices is becoming more pronounced, with several key trends emerging that will shape the future of ESG.

Here’s a comprehensive look at the top ESG trends for 2024, highlighting the evolving landscape of sustainability practices, regulatory pressures, investor expectations, and societal demands.

Increased Regulatory Scrutiny and Reporting Standards 

The push towards standardization and transparency in ESG disclosures is intensifying worldwide. In 2024, we expect to see more stringent regulatory requirements for ESG reporting, including the widespread adoption and potential mandating of frameworks like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This trend signifies a move towards greater accountability and comparability in how companies report their ESG performance.

Climate Action Urgency  

With the growing realization of the climate crisis, organizations are ramping up their efforts to mitigate their impact. This includes investing in renewable energy, reducing carbon footprints, and setting science-based targets. Net-zero commitments are becoming more common, and the pressure is on companies to back these commitments with actionable, concrete plans.

Biodiversity and Natural Capital

As biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation are recognized as critical risks, businesses are increasingly incorporating natural capital considerations into their decision-making processes. This involves focusing on conservation, restoration, and the sustainable use of biological resources, reflecting a growing awareness of the interconnectedness of environmental health and business viability.

Social Equity and Inclusion 

The social aspect of ESG is gaining prominence, with a strong focus on diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), human rights, and labour practices. This trend is driven by a broader societal demand for fairness, justice, and equal opportunities, pushing companies to take a more active role in addressing these issues within their operations and supply chains.

Sustainable Finance and Investment

The growth of sustainable finance is set to continue, with an influx of green bonds, sustainability-linked loans, and ESG-focused investment products. Investors are using ESG criteria more rigorously to assess risks and guide their decisions, driving companies to enhance their ESG performance to attract investment.

Supply Chain Sustainability  

Supply chain sustainability remains a focal point, driven by the need to address risks associated with climate change, labour practices, and resource scarcity. Companies are striving for greater transparency and resilience in their supply chains, adopting sustainable procurement practices to ensure their operations are ethically and environmentally sound. 

Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency

The transition towards circular economic models is accelerating as businesses look to reduce waste, improve resource efficiency, and create value through the recovery and recycling of materials. This shift is a response to increasing environmental concerns and the recognition of the finite nature of our planet’s resources.

Digitalization for Sustainability

Digital technologies such as AI, IoT, and blockchain are becoming critical tools in advancing ESG goals. These technologies offer innovative ways to monitor and reduce emissions, enhance energy efficiency, and improve transparency in supply chains and ESG reporting.

Stakeholder Capitalism

The move towards stakeholder capitalism is gaining momentum, with businesses increasingly considering the interests of all stakeholders, including employees, communities, customers, and the environment. This approach aligns business strategies with broader societal goals, creating value beyond mere financial returns.

Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change

As the impacts of climate change become more pronounced, businesses are prioritizing measures to adapt and build resilience. This includes investing in infrastructure capable of withstanding extreme weather events and developing comprehensive strategies to manage climate-related risks. 


These trends underscore a holistic approach to ESG, where environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and governance excellence are integrated into the core operations of businesses. Staying ahead of these trends requires proactive engagement, strategic planning, and a commitment to continuous improvement, ensuring that businesses not only survive but thrive in the face of these evolving challenges. 


Why IRIS CARBON® Is the Premier Choice in ESG Reporting

IRIS CARBON® facilitates ESG report authoring the entire process, from mapping stakeholder requirements to publicizing sustainability disclosures, and is managed on a cloud-based, user-friendly, and intuitive platform that fosters collaboration. 

With the assistance of our platform, your sustainability reports will be converted into digital documents that can be read by machines. These documents will be accessible to your stakeholders with greater ease, allowing them to analyze and compare your data with that of rival firms and industry sectors in order to make more informed decisions. 

Key Features of IRIS CARBON®

  • Data Accuracy and Consistency- One of the standout features of IRIS CARBON® is its ability to ensure data accuracy and consistency. The platform employs advanced validation mechanisms to identify and rectify inconsistencies in the reported data, providing stakeholders with reliable and trustworthy information. 
  • Multi-Framework Support- IRIS CARBON® supports multiple ESG reporting frameworks, including GRISASBTCFD, and CDP. This versatility allows companies to adapt to the reporting requirements of different stakeholders and align with global ESG standards. 
  • Collaborative Tool- Have your team work together on a report at the same time. It works faster that way. 
  • Multiple Formats- Whether you need an XBRL document or a PDF, we provide multiple output formats. 
  • Collaborative Tool- Have your team work together on a report at the same time. It works faster that way. 
  • Efficiency in Reporting- The platform is designed to streamline the reporting process, saving time and resources for organizations. With user-friendly interfaces and intuitive workflows, IRIS CARBON® enables efficient data entry and report generation, reducing the burden on reporting teams. 
  • Version Control- Access and manage multiple versions of your document with superior control features. 
  • Dashboards- Check your report’s progress and manage your team via an attractive project dashboard. 
  • Risk Management and Performance Improvement- IRIS CARBON® goes beyond mere compliance by offering insights into potential risks and areas for performance improvement. By providing a holistic view of ESG metrics, organizations can identify opportunities for growth and mitigate potential challenges. 
  • Scalability and Flexibility- Whether a company is a small business or a multinational corporation, IRIS CARBON® is scalable to meet varying reporting needs. Its flexible architecture accommodates changes in reporting requirements, ensuring adaptability in a dynamic regulatory landscape. 


The next wave of ESG reporting in 2024 is characterized by standardization, technological innovation, and a broader focus on social and governance factors, all within a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape. For companies, navigating these trends requires a proactive and strategic approach to ESG reporting. By embracing standardization, leveraging technology, and addressing the full spectrum of ESG factors, businesses can not only comply with regulatory demands but also drive sustainable growth and build trust with stakeholders in a more transparent and accountable world. 


Are you ready to seize the potential of ESG reporting and chart a course towards a more sustainable future?

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