New GRI guidelines focus on 'materiality'

8th June 2013




A greater emphasis on "materiality" is at the heart of the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) new sustainability reporting guidelines, "G4" - the fourth iteration of the world's most commonly used sustainability reporting framework

Disclosing information and indicators that have a material impact on their business will encourage organisations to concentrate on the economic, environmental and social impacts that matter most, according to the GRI.

This will, in turn, result in sustainability reports that are more strategic, more focused and more credible, as well as easier for stakeholders to navigate.

“The increasing demand for sustainability information is inevitable,” said GRI deputy chief executive Nelmara Arbex. “But this demand is also a demand for sustainability-related information that matters. This is what G4 is about.”

Christian Mouillon, global vice-chair for assurance at Ernst & Young, believes the greater focus on what is material will make reports more valuable. “This step will increase the transparency and value of sustainability reporting for stakeholders and provide a more accessible framework for organisations,” she said.

GRI says the G4 guidelines, which were launched at its conference in Amsterdam, are aimed at all organisations, large and small, and are easier to follow for both experienced reporters and those new to sustainability reporting.

The revised guidelines also include information on different reporting formats, from standalone sustainability reports to integrated disclosures.


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