Major update to GRI reporting standards unveiled

5th October 2021


The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has today unveiled the most significant changes to its reporting standards since 2016, setting a new benchmark for corporate sustainability.

The revised universal standards – which will be used by more than 10,000 companies from the start of 2023 – set a new level of transparency for impacts on the economy, environment and people.

They are designed to fully reflect due diligence expectations, including on human rights, as outlined by the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The standards also bring a “razor-sharp focus” to determining material topics, according to the GRI, with clarity on reporting principles, requirements and structure to improve decision making.

Furthermore, they enable consistent and comparable reporting, allowing companies to respond to emerging regulatory requirements, such as the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

Judy Kuszewski, chair of the GRI’s independent Global Sustainability Standard’s Board, said that addressing gaps between disclosure frameworks and intergovernmental expectations will “enable more effective and comprehensive reporting than ever before”.

“Built around the concepts of impact, material topics, due diligence and stakeholder engagement, these updates make it clear how companies can provide transparency and accountability in what they report,” she continued.

“We are providing them with the tools to demonstrate understanding of their impacts and respond to the information demands of their stakeholders, including investors, governments, and civil society.”

Although the updated reporting standards do not take effect until 1 January 2023, the GRI has encouraged early adoption.

The organisation has also today published its first sector standard – for oil and gas – as part of its integrated and complete modular system of sustainability reporting.

Sector standards will help companies focus reporting on the issues that matter most within their sectors and address their shared challenges. With 40 sectors identified, standards for coal, mining, agriculture, aquaculture and fishing are already under development.

“We have moved beyond the traditional social and environmental compliance models,” commented Alan Jorgenson, head of the OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct.

“Applying risk-based due diligence approach across all major areas of business ethics – not just for human rights but to environmental impacts and corruption as well – is the best way for business to ensure that risks are identified, avoided or addressed effectively.”

Image credit: iStock

Subscribe

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


Transform articles

How much is too much?

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

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

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

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd 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