Special Edition – Update on GRI Sustainability Reporting Guideline

29 September 2012

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is currently updating its Sustainability Reporting Guideline. There are five areas with profound changes, namely disclosure on management approach, governance and remuneration, application levels, boundary, and supply chain.

Details on the proposed changes are summarised in an exposure draft of the next generation of its reporting Guidelines (G4), available on GRI’s website. Note that the public comment period ended on 25 September 2012.

In addition, GRI is also seeking for public comments on its proposed thematic revisions to topics of Anti-Corruption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions. The public comment period for thematic revisions runs till 12 November 2012. Click here, for more details on the changes.

Interested parties may provide their feedback via an online consultation platform for both documents.

For more insights

Here are some FAQs on what to expect moving forward.

1. Can users of GRI still choose between G3.1 or G4 once G4 is launched in May 2013? Will there be a transition period between G3.1 and G4, and if yes, how long?
At this stage, it has not been decided whether there will be a transition period from G3.1 to G4 or how long this transition period will be. The decision will be taken by the GRI governance bodies once the final content of G4 is finalised. In the past, there was a 2-year transition period from G2 to G3.

2. Should I decide not to embark on any sustainability reporting until G4 is launched seeing that there will be changes?
GRI encourages all organisations to start reporting now with G3.1. On the GRI website you can find an overview of the changes introduced in the G4 Exposure Draft. You will notice that there isn’t that much new content introduced.

However, note that the final criteria of G4 will be finalized by taking into consideration feedback received from the public. This means that an organisation might decide to delay its reporting based on a draft criterion that might change depending on feedback from the public.

The decision to start reporting now with GRI 3.1 or to wait until G4 is launched is up to the reporting organisation, and GRI can’t give advice on this.

3. We are planning to attend training on GRI. What should we be expecting?
A GRI certified training course using G3.1 content. G4 is planned to be launched in May 2013. GRI certified training and materials for G4 won't be available until after that date.