WEPA’s Approach to Meeting CSRD and Sustainability Requirements with Sunhat

WEPA Group

A conversation with:
Jan-Niklas Möller
Jan-Niklas Möller
Sustainability Manager (Data Management & Controlling)
WEPA’s Approach to Meeting CSRD and Sustainability Requirements with Sunhat


The WEPA Group is a future-oriented European family business specializing in the production and distribution of sustainable hygiene paper. WEPA offers sustainable and innovative hygiene solutions that provide a safe feeling of hygiene and contribute daily to the well-being of millions of people. With 4,000 employees, the WEPA Group manufactures hygiene products such as toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and napkins at 13 European sites. WEPA is among the three largest European manufacturers and is leading the market in the production of hygiene paper from recycled fiber. Its annual turnover is roughly 1.3 billion euros.


Hygiene Paper Manufacturer


Arnsberg, Germany

Company Size

> 1.000

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WEPA's sustainability team sought a streamlined approach to meet CSRD obligations while harnessing the data collected to respond to the growing number of external sustainability requests.

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Sunhat’s framework module breaks down CSRD requirements into manageable components and automates data collection. The resulting database of verified answers can be reused for any other request.

3x higher efficiency

through task automation


CSRD requirements mapped

>5000 data points

synchronized to meet the ESRS

The Situation

Pioneering Sustainability: Hygiene Paper Manufacturer WEPA

WEPA, a family-owned business founded in 1948, has been deeply committed to sustainability since its inception. Specializing in the production and distribution of environmentally friendly hygiene paper products, particularly from recycled fibers, sustainability is ingrained in WEPA’s corporate culture and forward-thinking strategy.

Aligned with their sustainability strategy, WEPA's manufacturing operations prioritize the efficient utilization of raw materials, machinery, and processes. With a workforce of approximately 4,000 employees, WEPA produces their goods across 13 locations throughout Europe. Guided by their sustainability strategy, the company strives to foster transparency, trust, and added value for all stakeholders, from employees to customers.

To drive their 4+1 sustainability strategy, WEPA has established a dedicated and cohesive sustainability team. This team is responsible for formulating and implementing the company's sustainability strategy, as well as engaging both internal and external stakeholders. By leveraging the expertise of this team and adhering to their ambitious vision of becoming the industry leader in sustainability, WEPA actively pursues a range of sustainability initiatives to achieve their goals.

WEPA’s sustainability team recognized the need to proactively prepare for the upcoming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) in Europe, which is set to introduce extensive and demanding requirements in the form of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS).

Image courtesy of WEPA Group

The Challenge

Establishing a Common Data Foundation for Meeting CSRD and Sustainability Requirements 

Companies worldwide are bracing themselves for the advent of the CSRD in Europe. This transformative regulatory framework introduces a wave of new and extensive standards, the ESRS, that demand swift action from them. Under the CSRD, companies are required to disclose both their impact on people and the planet, including the impact throughout their entire supply chain, as well as the impact of sustainability issues on their company value. 

In planning to begin reporting for the fiscal year 2024, WEPA became aware of the magnitude of the task at hand requiring a great number of data points across its own operations as well as upstream and downstream supply chains.

WEPA’s sustainability team recognized early on the paramount importance of robust internal data collection and verification processes to present qualitative and quantitative data in a manner it will meet the directive’s standards. With the obligation to substantiate all sustainability information with verified data and transparent documentation of the collection process, they anticipated the substantial surge in administrative workload for the sustainability team during the implementation of the CSRD.

The enormity of the CSRD requirements made it crucial for them to find a streamlined approach to effectively utilize their wealth of accumulated data to meet these new obligations. Moreover, WEPA faced numerous other sustainability requests, such as EcoVadis or CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), that, when combined, place a significant strain on the time and resources of their sustainability team.

Hence, together with WEPA Ventures, they searched for a software solution that could help them unleash the full power of their collected data to fulfill the upcoming regulatory requirements, while also allowing them to address multiple requests efficiently. WEPA Ventures, the Venture Capital (VC) firm of WEPA, invests in early-stage start-ups that are driving innovation in various sustainability-related areas including sustainability software. 

Together with WEPA Ventures, the Sustainability team chose Sunhat not only because they believe in the expert-developed software solution but also in the close collaboration and partnership with the Sunhat team to drive innovation and progress.

“The amount of external requests regarding our sustainability performance is steadily increasing. While we fully commit to being transparent, the internal processes to do so have been very time consuming.” 

The Solution

The Sunhat Moment

One of the key advantages of Sunhat’s software is its embedded framework guidance on the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) mandated by the CSRD. With the aim of simplifying the CSRD process, Sunhat breaks down the ESRS disclosure requirements into manageable components that can be tackled in an efficient way.

The practical guidance within the software made it easier for WEPA to navigate the intricacies of the directive’s standards, ensuring accurate and consistent disclosure of sustainability information. By having the guidance readily available within the software, WEPA can prepare the required disclosure data with all necessary details and in the demanded format, eliminating the need for manually searching and interpreting the lengthy ESRS documents one by one.

Sunhat’s software solution provides WEPA’s sustainability team with a centralized place where all their sustainability-related information and corresponding documentation can be consolidated and stored. This ensures that their sustainability data is easily accessible, allowing them to use automation for responding to different requirements and requests, not limited to the CSRD.

Jan-Niklas Möller

“Managing sustainability data means handling not only quantitative, but also qualitative information and covering multiple interfaces to other areas due to the variety of topics. A tailored solution to the reality of a sustainability manager was the necessary next step for us to create a comprehensive and validated data basis.” 

Jan-Niklas Möller
Sustainability Manager (Data Management & Controlling)

“Managing sustainability data means handling not only quantitative, but also qualitative information and covering multiple interfaces to other areas due to the variety of topics. A tailored solution to the reality of a sustainability manager was the necessary next step for us to create a comprehensive and validated data basis.” 

Jan-Niklas Möller
Sustainability Manager (Data Management & Controlling)

By having the data in one place, WEPA is able to efficiently aggregate relevant information across all disclosures, creating meaningful data linkages for all reporting requests and questionnaires. This interconnectedness allows them to address overlapping requirements, minimizing duplication of efforts and optimizing resource allocation.

How WEPA Uses Sunhat

With the implementation of the software, WEPA's core sustainability team harnesses its capabilities to streamline their reporting processes. Using Sunhat’s manageable components of the ESRS requirements, Jan-Niklas, responsible for data management and controlling at WEPA, embarked on the project lead in the software.

As Sunhat facilitates seamless collaboration among all team members, Jan-Niklas is able to assign specific disclosures or entire ESRS topics to individual team members. To ensure comprehensive and accurate reporting, the entire sustainability team can use Sunhat to collect data from various departments, leveraging the expertise and knowledge of technical experts across all 13 European WEPA locations.

Setting up automated collection and control tasks within the software reduces manual effort and allows team members to focus on value-added activities to optimize efficiency and reporting accuracy. This automation streamlines data collection, verification, and reporting processes, saving valuable time and resources for the sustainability team.

“Sunhat is now supporting us in substantially reducing the manual workload and therefore gives us the opportunity to shift full focus on tracking the progress of our sustainability targets and creating value from our insights.”

A notable feature of the software is its ability to reflect WEPA’s organizational structure, accommodating data at country, facility, and further levels. This granular representation enables precise reporting and analysis, empowering WEPA to effectively align their sustainability efforts with their organizational structure and allowing them to integrate sustainability reporting with their existing financial disclosures.

Sunhat software in action: Sunhat team at WEPA's offices in Duesseldorf Germany
Software solution in use at WEPA: Meeting with the Sunhat team

The Results

Unleashing the Power of Data for Reporting and Stakeholder Requirements

By proactively preparing for the CSRD with Sunhat’s software solution, WEPA demonstrates their commitment to staying ahead of regulatory changes, all while being able to uphold their ongoing sustainable initiatives and gain time to pursue projects that drive their sustainability impact. 

  • Up-to-date answer library: The CSRD disclosures in Sunhat are used to build up a central database of verified answers that can be easily accessed, updated, and maintained at any point in time. Given that sustainability reporting is not a one-time effort, but a recurring responsibility, this approach facilitates compliance with the CSRD in the following years.

  • Unlocked opportunities: Sustainability-related requirements do not end with the introduction of CSRD reporting. With Sunhat, WEPA can easily reuse the responses from their CSRD disclosures to respond to further sustainability requirements, such as CDP, from their customers. Sunhat ensures consistency in exchanging sustainability information to any stakeholder request.
  • Connectivity of data: Sunhat’s software enables WEPA to aggregate data from various sources, such as their data warehouse, existing reports and MS Excel data collections, as well as further internal processes. By seamlessly integrating this data into the CSRD reporting practices and responses to other sustainability requests, Sunhat ensures accuracy and continuity in the overall disclosure of sustainability information.

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