Three publications laying on a table. Written on the frontpage: Milestone 1 report by Nordic Sustainability Reporting Standard

First Study: New Standard for Nordic Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Sustainability Reporting

The first study is now ready from the Nordic Innovation co-funded project Nordic Sustainability Reporting Standard (NSRS). A milestone report which defines the theoretical fundament for further developing a new standard.

The project aims at simplifying sustainability reporting for SMEs by making a patchwork of existing frameworks and regulatory demands, rather than reinventing and adding to the complexity of already existing frameworks. Hereunder the EU Taxonomy is incorporated as one of the major frameworks that NSRS aims at being aligned with.

What is the EU Taxonomy?

The EU taxonomy is a classification system, establishing a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. The EU taxonomy is an important enabler to scale up sustainable investment and to implement the European Green Deal.

Source: European Commission

The Nordic SMEs face new challenges

One of the examples that NSRS points to, is that several banks are in the process of developing new incentives for SME-loan takers, as the banks need non-financial data from their value chains in order to report on and to accelerate the taxonomy alignment internally. Some banks are even incorporating stricter sustainability screening criteria of SMEs in the credit rating process.

The EU Taxonomy poses a transition risk for Nordic SMEs that do not have the right resources such as time or money to implement sustainability related activities. If there is not a support system put in place, the enterprises will likely fall even further behind.

Construction and building sectors for the first prototype

The next step for the NSRS project is to develop a prototype and test it in the construction and building industry. Focusing on industry-specific adaptations allows for more detailed key performance indicators (KPIs) while still maintaining simplification as a core principle.

Nordic Sustainability Reporting Standard for SMEs (NSRS)

Joining forces to guide SMEs to build resilience and mitigate to the sustainability transition.

Read more about the project

"Climate changes poses a great risk to Nordic SMEs. Hopefully we will find a smart and simple way to support SMEs rigging themselves for the transition – hand in hand with their closest advisor, the accountant", says Kaja Koppang, Project Leader at NSRS and Sustainability Consultant at Regnskap Norge.

Read the Nordic Sustainability Reporting Standard Milestone 1 Report

The NSRS project is a part of the Nordic Sustainable Business Transformation program.


Portrait Marthe Haugland

Marthe Haugland

Senior Innovation Adviser
Marthe combines her international experience with her knowledge of business development and innovation to promote Nordic cooperation within the circular economy. She belives Nordic cooperation can drive the systemic change and give Nordic companies a competitive edge going forward.

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Hanna Törmänen

Hanna Törmänen

Innovation Adviser
Hanna has background in Nordic and international exports, public-private cooperation, project management and market analysis. Her focus at Nordic Innovation is to support Nordic businesses and ecosystems in their transition towards sustainable and circular business models.


Portrait Elís Benediktsson

Elís Benediktsson

Senior Innovation Adviser
Elís combines his scientific educational background with his broad international experience in biotech, banking and economic diplomacy. His main strengths lie within business development & analysis, project management, as well as international trade & investment advisory.

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