Athlon is getting ready for the CSRD

Alexander Heijkamp, Athlon’s Sustainability and CSR Director, is firm: “When it comes to climate change, we must act now.” That’s why Athlon is taking the wheel and getting ready for compliance with the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The directive is an excellent opportunity to look at how we are managing and monitoring environmental and social impact today, and then accelerate to be ready for the future.

    In pole position to win the race.

    “The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report shows that urgent climate action can secure a livable future for all,” says Alexander. “Yet, businesses should accelerate their efforts to counter the fierce impact of climate change and establish a new economy that balances planet, profit and people performance. Only together can we win the race.” 

    “Athlon took up the sustainability gauntlet long ago”, Alexander continues. “Transport accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. As a European mobility provider putting 400,000 vehicles on the road, we want to take our responsibility, and boost and guide the transition to net carbon-neutral transport. Driving electric and changing travel habits are just two ways to achieve this. At Athlon, we continuously update our mobility offering, guiding our customers to organize their employees and core mobility sustainably.

    On top of that, our Sustainability Strategy includes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) topics, too. We believe businesses have to look further than profit margins. What’s important is the mix of environmental and social topics, and the way you organize yourself to keep doing what’s right. Or as many companies like to call it: a well-prepared ESG approach.”

    CSRD: step back before leaping forward

    To be able to focus on the right environmental and social topics, it’s key to first understand which impact areas are material for you as a company. That’s why Athlon already began preparing for the EU CSRD last year.

    “The CSRD requires large, listed companies to provide an integrated view of their impact, along with their environmental, social and governance performance,” Alexander explains. “Just like a lot of other European organizations, Athlon will be obliged to report according to the new standard in 2026, covering the financial year 2025. Although that is still a while, we want to start today. After all, the new directive is an excellent opportunity to assess our current sustainability and CSR performance and then make improvements along the way.”

    CSRD: what’s in a name?
    Launched in November 2022, the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is a mandatory standard, designed to harmonize corporate sustainability reporting in the EU. By obliging large, listed companies to report on their ESG efforts in a unified way, the EU wants to ban greenwashing, boost corporate accountability and thus take sustainability in businesses to the next level.

    Roadmap to CSRD-compliant reporting

    As CSRD reporting requires time, vision and expertise, we joined forces with an expert agency to guide us. Via workshops, interviews and surveys with different stakeholders (employees, management, customers, partners, shareholders, peers, …), we will gain insight into the material impact that Athlon has both on the environment and society. This first step is crucial in deciding which topics require action and how Athlon needs to prioritize its actions. In addition, it will help us sharpen our targets and define future-proof KPIs.

    Sustainability is best done together

    The input of customers and other stakeholders will be key for Athlon to fine-tune its sustainability strategy. Alexander: “We include our customers in every step we take towards a sustainable future. We regularly invite them to take part in brainstorm sessions and panels, request their feedback and create mobility solutions together. At last November’s Fleet Europe Summit, we launched the Athlon Learning Platform. This is how we love to work: in close collaboration with all our stakeholders. Our latest Road Safety proposition and eMobility solution, which includes home, office and public charging, are the proof that this approach adds value for everyone involved.”

    “At Athlon, we embrace the empowering belief that we can reshape mobility, together with our partners and customers. Getting ready for the CSRD takes us another step closer to that objective.” - Alexander Heijkamp

    Shifting the mindset

    “Raising awareness, providing guidance and, more importantly, removing barriers by, for example, inviting people to experience electric driving, all help to smoothen the transition to green mobility”, Alexander continues. “The shift to sustainable behavior has a major impact on our lives and businesses. It requires new habits from all of us, which can be challenging. To succeed, you have to understand why the change is really needed, clear goals must be set and, most importantly, you have to really believe that you can change the game. Effective change is all about the right mindset. At Athlon, we embrace the empowering belief that we can reshape mobility, together with our partners and customers. Getting ready for the CSRD takes us another step closer to that objective.”

    Athlon’s top 5 tips to prepare for CSRD-compliant reporting.

    1. Start today. Assemble a diverse and motivated project team, and make sure that your management team is on board. Keep everyone informed every step of the way.
    2. Engage with an expert agency to help guide your organization towards a sustainable future.
    3. Start with a gap analysis, comparing your current strategy with the top 10 ESG topics within the CSRD.
    4. Create a double materiality matrix with an inside and outside approach on the potential impact of both financial and environmental aspects. Involve your key stakeholders and adopt a co-creation approach.
    5. Retain your focus. Make a realistic planning and stick to it.