GRI Standards

GRI helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social wellbeing. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are developed with multi-stakeholder contributions and rooted in the public interest.

GRI is now the most widely used sustainability reporting framework. There are four key elements in the framework:

  1. Sustainability reporting guidelines (the Standards) are the cornerstone of the framework.  These consist of Principles for defining report content and ensuring the quality of reported information. They also include Standard Disclosures made up of performance indicators and other disclosure items, as well as guidance on specific technical topics in reporting.
  2. Indicator protocols exist for each of the performance indicators contained in the Guidelines. These protocols provide definitions, compilation guidance, and other information to assist report writers and to ensure consistency in the interpretation of the performance indicators. Users of the Guidelines should also use the Indicator Protocols.
  3. Sector supplements complement the Guidelines with interpretations and guidance on how to apply them in a given sector, and include sector-specific performance indicators. Applicable sector supplements should be used in addition to rather than in place of the Guidelines.
  4. Technical protocols are created to provide guidance on issues in reporting, such as setting the report boundary. They are designed to be used in conjunction with the Guidelines and sector supplements and cover issues that face most organisations during the reporting process.

While the GRI  Standards seek to enhance comparability between reports through encouraging the use of common indicators, it can also incorporate flexibility so that organisations can take steps to reflect the context in which they operate. They can also be used with a more informal approach consistent with organisation’s capacity. The organisation may choose to cover only some of the content in working towards improving their reporting. With this in mind, organisations are also asked to clearly indicate how they have used the GRI Standards and in particular, the core indicators. With time and practice, organisations are encouraged to move gradually towards more comprehensive reporting built on the content of the GRI framework.

Courses, support, and information

The website www.globalreporting.org  includes a large amount of information including the downloadable G3 guidelines, forums, publications, help and information.


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