Introducing the new GRI standards

19th October 2016


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Reporting ,
  • Business & Industry ,
  • Management

Author

Oliver Gardner

The future of sustainability reporting.

Corporations and other organisations that are committed to becoming more sustainable now have a new tool help them understand and address pressing issues such as climate change, gender equality, child labour and corruption: the GRI sustainability reporting standards.

The GRI standards are the first global standard for sustainability reporting, the practice by which organisations publically disclose the impacts of their operations on the economy, the environment and society.

Over the past 20 years, thousands of organisations have adopted sustainability reporting (also known as non-financial reporting) in order to provide stakeholders with information about the organisation’s contributions – positive or negative – towards the goal of sustainable development.

Our new standards can be used by any type of organisation, in any part of the world, to begin understanding, managing and communicating these impacts.

The sustainable development agenda has gathered significant momentum, in light of the recent global commitments to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), the Paris climate change agreement and the EU Directive on Non-Financial Reporting. As a result, the role of non-state actors and, in particular businesses, in helping solve some of the world’s most urgent problems is becoming increasingly important.

We are seeing a shift where there is increasing stakeholder demand for organisations to go beyond collecting and reporting this data to focusing on using this information to understand an organisation’s risks and opportunities, and inform strategic decision making.

Within this context the GRI standards are designed to be the common reporting language for the new era of corporate disclosure. GRI standards are a modular, interrelated set of disclosure of an organisation’s broader economic, environmental, social and governance impacts. The 36 GRI standards are based on the content from the G4 guidelines.

The new structure and clarifications make GRI standards more accessible for new and existing reporters, which will improve both the quantity and quality of sustainability reporting. Additionally, going forward, individual standards can be updated, or new ones can be added without the need to revise the entire reporting framework. This will lead to faster response times for new reporting measurements.

There are two ways to use GRI standards:

  • As a set to prepare a sustainability reporting ‘in accordance’ with GRI standards
  • Individually to disclose specific sustainability information, for instance, when required by regulators or stock exchanges, without preparing an entire sustainability report

This will provide the flexibility new reporting organisations, in particular SMEs, need to begin disclosing information about their most important impacts on the economy, the environment and society. Over the next years, we are hopeful to see thousands more organisations begin reporting, as they engage with the SDGs, the EU Directive on Non-Financial Reporting and international efforts to combat climate change.

You can find more information on the on the new GRI standard by visiting the GRI website here.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

Weather damage insurance claims hit record high

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close