A Guide to Understanding ESRS Social Requirements

The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) Social Requirements (ESRS S1-S4) guide companies toward ethical and sustainable practices.

In today's corporate landscape, the focus on social responsibility has become increasingly vital. Recognizing this, the European Commission has introduced the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), encompassing various aspects, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. Among these, the Social ESRS (ESRS S1-S4) outlines specific requirements for companies to report on social aspects crucial for sustainable business practices. Within the ESRS, the "S" for "Social" encompasses critical elements such as occupational health and safety, diversity, and social commitment, all aimed at fostering ethical business conduct and positive societal impact.


The ESRS Social Requirements—denoted ESRS S1-S4—delve into specific areas of social responsibility, spanning the internal and external realms of a company's operations. These standards serve as a blueprint for reporting on crucial social aspects, ensuring transparency and accountability across the corporate landscape. Under the issue specific reporting requirements, the ESRS Social Requirements comprise four key areas: They include:

ESRS S1: Own Workforce

ESRS S1 focuses on a company's internal workforce, working conditions, equal opportunities, and other work-related rights. This standard encompasses various sub-topics such as working conditions, equal treatment, opportunities for all, and other work-related rights. ESRS S1 aims to comprehend the company's impact on its workforce, address material risks and opportunities, and ensure equitable and secure working environments.

ESRS S2: Workers in the Value Chain

ESRS S2 expands the scope to include workers throughout the company's value chain. It emphasizes understanding and mitigating the impacts on these workers, promoting fair working conditions, and managing associated risks and opportunities. This standard mirrors ESRS S1 but extends its focus to workers beyond the company's immediate workforce.

ESRS S3: Affected Communities

ESRS S3 directs attention to the communities affected by a company's operations, including economic, social, and cultural rights, civil and political rights, and indigenous peoples' rights. ESRS S3 aims to comprehend community impacts, execute measures to mitigate adverse effects, and manage related risks and opportunities.

ESRS S4: Consumers and End-Users

Finally, ESRS S4 addresses the impact of a company's products or services on consumers and end-users. It encompasses information-related impacts, personal safety, and social inclusion. ESRS S4 aims to comprehend the impacts of the materials on consumers, prevent negative effects, and manage linked risks and opportunities.


In conclusion, the ESRS Social Standards (ESRS S1-S4) provide a comprehensive framework for companies to report on social aspects critical for sustainable business practices. The ESRS Social Standards outline detailed disclosure requirements, encompassing policies, targets, action plans, and performance measures across various sub-topics within each standard. Companies must provide comprehensive insights into social responsibility initiatives, including working conditions, equal opportunities, and other work-related rights. Companies can promote positive social change by enhancing transparency and accountability towards their workforce, workers in the value chain, affected communities, and consumers and end-users. Embracing these standards aligns with regulatory requirements and fosters a culture of responsibility and ethical business conduct. By implementing sustainable practices and promoting equity, companies have the power to shape a better future.

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