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Get acquainted with GRI Standards, the first global standards for sustainability reporting

GRI has pioneered sustainability reporting since the late 1990s, providing the world’s most widely used standards for sustainability reporting: 80% of the world’s 250 largest companies issue Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports in accordance with the GRI reporting guidelines.

GRI launched the GRI Standards, based on the GRI G4 Guidelines which they replace, to enable companies across the globe to disclose nonfinancial information using a common language.

There is a new modular structure, which means standards can be independently updated or new standards may be added, without the whole set of standards being revised as a consequence.

There are:

  • Three Universal Standards to be used by every organization issuing a sustainability report:
    • GRI 101: Foundation: the starting point for any organization to report on its economic, environmental or social impacts using the GRI Standards
    • GRI 102: General Disclosures: sets out reporting requirements on background information concerning an organization and its sustainability reporting practices
    • GRI 103: Management Approach: sets out reporting requirements on an organization’s approach in managing a material topic
  • Three series of topic-specific Standards for organizations to report on their material topics:
    • Economic Standards
    • Environmental Standards
    • Social Standards


Key advantages of GRI Standards:

  • GRI Standards are more flexible and responsive to developments in reporting practices, with the new modular structure ensuring they are always up-to-date. Thus, an organization’s investment in adopting the GRI Standards for its sustainability reporting is firmly protected.
  • GRI Standards, as a formal set of standards, will enable GRI to be referenced more widely by governments and regulatory authorities globally, making it easier for businesses to comply with regulations in their sector.
  • GRI Standards provide a common, comprehensive language for sustainability reporting, while also allowing selective reporting on different economic, environmental or social issues.
  • GRI Standards were developed on the basis of extensive feedback from a wide range of different stakeholders, thus constituting a reliable and vigorous set of standards, serving the public interest.


For a brief introduction to the GRI Standards you may watch the following video:


For a longer introduction to the GRI Standards, please watch the webinar below:





1) This article was compiled using a GRI video and webinar. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses but made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the video’s and webinar’s meaning. If you would like to quote these sources from the original, please watch the video and the webinar, as seen above.

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/


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