Data Collection: Breaking Down Hydrus’s CSRD Workflow

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) presents a rigorous framework for sustainability reporting that companies must adhere to. One of the critical steps in this workflow is the “Data Collection” phase. This step is foundational, as accurate and comprehensive data collection ensures that all subsequent analyses and reports are both reliable and meaningful.

Importance of Data Collection

Effective data collection for sustainability metrics is indispensable for companies aiming to enhance their environmental and social performance. It not only ensures compliance with regulations like the CSRD, but supports strategic decision-making, builds stakeholder trust, drives continuous improvement, and aligns with global sustainability goals. Through meticulous data collection, companies can not only report their sustainability achievements accurately but also unlock significant value and drive long-term success.

Background on CSRD and Its Importance

The CSRD aims to standardize sustainability reporting across the European Union, ensuring that companies provide transparent and comparable information about their environmental and social impacts. This directive broadens the scope of reporting, requiring companies to include non-financial information in their annual reports. Compliance with CSRD is not just about meeting regulatory requirements; it also helps companies enhance their sustainability performance, build stakeholder trust, and mitigate risks associated with environmental and social issues.

Explanation of the Data Collection Step

In the CSRD workflow, as illustrated in the provided diagram, the data collection step is pivotal. Here’s a detailed breakdown of this step and how Hydrus tools facilitate the process:

  1. Identify Organizational Boundary:
    • Scope Determination: Define the boundaries of the organization for which data will be collected. This includes identifying subsidiaries, joint ventures, and other relevant entities.
  2. Data Strategy Development:
    • Current Data Inventory: Catalog existing data within the organization.
    • Data Needs Identification: Determine what additional data is required to fulfill CSRD reporting requirements.
    • Data Source Mapping: Identify where data resides within the organization and which users or departments are responsible for it.
    • Data Ontology: Create a structured data model to organize and manage the data efficiently on the Hydrus platform.
  3. Data Acquisition Routes:
    • APIs/ERPs: Utilize Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems for automated data retrieval. This ensures seamless integration with existing systems and accurate data transfer.
    • Excel: Import data from Excel spreadsheets, a common format used by many departments for various types of information.
    • File Upload: Enable the upload of different file formats containing relevant data, providing flexibility in how data is collected and submitted.
    • OCR (Optical Character Recognition): Employ OCR technology to digitize and extract information from physical documents, ensuring no data is overlooked.
    • Survey: Deploy custom surveys to gather specific data from stakeholders, ensuring comprehensive data collection tailored to the company’s unique needs.

Hydrus Tools Used in Data Collection offers a suite of advanced tools to streamline and enhance the data collection process. These tools ensure that data is collected efficiently, accurately, and comprehensively:

  • Data Sheets & Surveys: Hydrus provides customizable data sheets and surveys that facilitate the systematic collection of required data from various sources within the organization.
  • OCR & REST APIs: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology digitizes physical documents, while REST APIs enable seamless integration and automated data transfer from other digital systems and databases.
  • AI-Assisted Estimations: Advanced AI algorithms help fill in any missing data points by making accurate estimations based on available data and industry benchmarks.

Benefits of Effective Data Collection

Effective data collection is crucial for several reasons:

  • Accuracy: Ensures that the data used for reporting is accurate, which is essential for reliable sustainability reports.
  • Efficiency: Streamlines the data gathering process, reducing the time and effort required.
  • Comprehensiveness: Guarantees that all necessary data is collected, leaving no gaps that could undermine the report’s integrity.
  • Strategic Insights: Provides a solid foundation for analyzing material issues, helping firms prioritize their sustainability efforts based on robust data.


The data collection step in the CSRD workflow is a critical phase that lays the groundwork for accurate and comprehensive sustainability reporting. By leveraging Hydrus’s advanced tools such as data sheets, surveys, OCR, REST APIs, and AI-assisted estimations, companies can ensure efficient, accurate, and thorough data collection. This not only aids in compliance with the CSRD but also enhances overall sustainability performance, building greater trust and transparency with stakeholders.

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